Five alive for Hoey as Ulsterman romps to Russian success while Dyson improves

Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey shot a final-round 70 to claim a four-stroke victory at the M2M Russian Open in Moscow.

Northern Ireland's Michael Hoey, centre, holds his trophy as two carabineers escorted him off the course, after the winning in the final round at the Russian Open golf tournament at Tseleevo Golf and Polo Club outside in Moscow, Russia. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

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

France’s Alexandre Kaleka, winner of the tournament last year, and Englishman Matthew Nixon were the closest challengers, finishing on 12 under.

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Victory was Hoey’s fifth European Tour title and represented a return to form after missing seven of his previous 10 cuts.

Hoey said: “I have absolutely loved the golf course this week.

“The putting was the key for me. I have been working hard on that recently and the improvement is really showing because I’m 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 Dane JB 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.

Nixon came home in 33 and signed for a three-under-par 69, finishing tied second with Kaleka a shot ahead of Hansen.

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.”

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.

Malton’s Simon Dyson, who was joint first-round leader on Thursday, finished in ninth on eight under par after weekend rounds of 71, 68, while Hull’s Richard Finch was 17th, four shots further back after posting weekend rounds of 69, 68.

Karrie Webb closed with a round of 65 to win the ISPS Handa Ladies European Masters at Buckinghamshire Golf Club.

Webb finished on 16 under for the tournament, one shot clear of Ashleigh Simon and two ahead of Solheim Cup hopeful Caroline Masson, the pair having led going into the final round alongside teenager Klara Spilkova, who had to settle for a share of sixth.

Doncaster’s Rebecca Hudson finished 17 shots back.