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Hoey enjoys four shot victory at Russian Open

ESPN staff
July 28, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Victory at the Russian Open gives Michael Hoey his fifth European title © Getty Images
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Russian Open Leaderboard

Michael Hoey became the first player from Northern Ireland to win the Russian Open, claiming a fifth European tour title after finishing with a four shot lead in Moscow.

Hoey started his final round four strokes ahead of the field at the Tseleevo Club, and carded a two-under-par 70 to pick up the trophy at 16-under overall. Alexandre Kaleka and Matthew Nixon finished tied for second on 12-under.

The victory sees Hoey rise into the top 180 of the Official World Golf Ranking and was his first title win since the 2012 Trophée Hassan II.

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"It was tough for me today because when you have a five shot lead your natural instinct is to defend the lead," Hoey said. "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.

"I have absolutely loved the golf course this week. 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.

"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'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. 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."

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