Hoey romps to Russian Open victory
Michael Hoey romped to a four shot victory as he sealed a fifth European Tour title at the M2M Russian Open.
The Northern Irishman started the day with a four shot lead after a brilliant third round 65 at Tseleevo Golf & Polo Club.
Michael Hoey (Credit: www.golffile.ie)
A closing two under par 70 was enough to give Hoey a 16 under par total and four shot winning margin over France’s Alexandre Kaleka and England’s Matthew Nixon.
“The putting was the key for me this week. I have been working hard on that a lot recently and the improvement is really showing because I making a lot of birdies.”
“It’s pretty amazing to think that I have won five European Tour titles. It is a great feeling to win and every time you do it you just want more and more. Hopefully I can get at least another one before the end of the season.”
“It has given me a great boost. I am not the most consistent player in the world but when I get into these positions I usually do ok. But the next aim for me has to be to become a bit more consistent because that is the only way I will be able to get back among the best players in the world and stay there.”
The 34-year-old – who had not finished better than 25th on The European Tour this season and missed seven of his last ten cuts coming into the event – began his final round with six consecutive pars but birdies at the seventh and eighth saw him advance to 16 under par and turn five clear.
His only dropped shot of the day came at the 12th, and last year’s winner Kaleka and Dane JB Hansen closed the gap to two before Hoey birdied the 17th, with both his nearest challengers dropping shots on the last.
Kaleka, who captured this title last year when it formed part of the Challenge Tour schedule, had five birdies before bogeying the 18th for a 68, while Nixon came home in 33 for a 69.
Hansen finished alone in fourth after dropping two shots on the 18th for a 68, with China’s Liang Wen-chong, France’s Gregory Havret and English pair James Morrison and Mark Foster a shot further back on ten under.
Terry Pilkidaris finished the best of the Aussies on T24 following a final round 73. Scott Hend was one stroke back at 2-under and T30 with Daniel Gaunt rounding out the Aussies who made the weekend cut at T44.