Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey returned to form after a quiet spell with a resounding four-stroke victory in the Russian Open after a final round of 70 at Moscow’s Tseleevo Golf and Polo Club on Sunday.
Hoey set up his fifth European Tour victory with Saturday’s decisive seven-under round of 65, to leave him five shots clear overnight.
The 34-year-old, who had missed seven of his last 10 cuts, finished with a 16-under total of 272.
Last year’s winner Alexandre Kaleka of France and Englishman Matthew Nixon were the closest challengers, finishing on 12-under, with Joachim Hansen of Denmark one shot further back in fourth.
Hoey told europeantour.com: “I have absolutely loved the golf course this week.”
“The putting was the key for me. I have been working hard on that a lot recently and the improvement is really showing because I was making a lot of birdies,” he said.
“That is the main difference at this level. You have to be able to make a lot of putts because the standard is so high these days that it usually comes down to who makes the most putts,” Hoey said.
“It’s pretty amazing to think that I have won five European Tour titles,” he said. “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.”
Hoey dropped just one shot throughout the day, at the 12th, and his lead was cut to two by Kaleka and Hansen.
However, a birdie at the 17th steadied his nerves and Kaleka (bogey) and Hansen (double-bogey) both dropped strokes at the last to card 68s.