Michael Hoey shot a 2-under 70 and went largely unchallenged in the final round on his way to a four stroke victory at the M2M Russian Open on Sunday.
The Northern Irishaman entered the final round with a four stroke lead which proved to be the winning margin over Frenchman Alexandre Kaleka and England's Matthew Nixon.
“I have absolutely loved the golf course this week,” said Hoey who had missed seven of his last 10 cuts coming into the event. “It is a great Nicklaus design and one of the best we will play on Tour for the whole year. The greens are just so pure and when you have surfaces like that to putt on then you can make a lot of putts."
Birdies at the seventh and eighth holes saw Hoey push his lead to five strokes before a bogey on No. 12 - his only dropped shot of the day - allowed last year's winner Kaleka and Dane JB Hansen to get within two shots of the lead. However, Hoey sealed the win with a birdie at No. 17 while his nearest challengers faltered.
“It was tough for me today because when you have a five shot lead your natural instinct is to defend the lead,” said Hoey. “I was trying to be more aggressive because that is usually the best form of defence but it is tough in the final round when you know you are so far ahead."
Hansen ended up finishing fourth after dropping two shots on the final hole for a 68, with China’s Liang Wen-chong, France’s Gregory Havret and Englishmen James Morrison and Mark Foster a shot further back at 10-under.
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