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Magnificent Michael Hoey triumphs at Russian Open in Moscow

Updated: Sunday, 28 Jul 2013 19:53 | Comments

Michael Hoey has won a European Tour event in each of the last three seasons
Michael Hoey has won a European Tour event in each of the last three seasons

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Northern Ireland's Michael Hoey has claimed a four-shot victory at the M2M Russian Open in Moscow.

The 34-year-old, who led by five overnight after a superb 65 in his third round, birdied three more holes in a round of 70 to finish comfortably ahead on 16-under-par 272.

The five-time European Tour winner had not finished better than 25th on the tour this season and had missed seven of his last 10 cuts coming into the event.

Last year's winner Alexandre Kaleka of France finished tied for second with England's Matthew Nixon on 12 under.

Dane JB Hansen was one shot further back in third.

"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" - Michael Hoey 

A delighted 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 making a lot of birdies.

"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.

"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 okay."

Hoey dropped just one shot throughout the day, at the 12th, and his lead was cut to two by Kaleka and Hansen.

But his birdie at the 17th steadied nerves and Kaleka (bogey) and Hansen (double bogey) both dropped strokes at the last to card 68s.

Hoey said: "I did feel the pressure a bit today because I wasn't swinging it as freely as I had done yesterday but I got the job done in the end.

"Making my first birdie of the day on the seventh was a bit of a turning point because I had burned a few edges before that and you start to wonder if it is going to be your day."

China's Liang Wen-chong, Frenchman Gregory Havret and English pair James Morrison and Mark Foster finished in a tie for fifth on 10 under.

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