England’s Lee Slattery finished one clear of Tano Goya of Argentina to win the M2M Russian Open, here's what we learned at the event.
England’s Lee Slattery finished one clear of Tano Goya of Argentina at Skolkovo Golf Club in Moscow to win the M2M Russian Open and claim his second European Tour title.
Slattery gained an early advantage on Sunday when he holed a long-range birdie putt on the first hole. But Tano Goya put pressure on Slattery with a birdie at the 3rd. When the Argentinian made a further gain at the 6th, and Slattery bogeyed the same hole, there was a change of leader with Goya hitting the front.
On the run for home, it was Slattery who proved to be the stronger. He birdied the 14th and, after Goya had dropped shots at the 13th and 15th holes, the 37-year-old Englishman was in the lead once more. He moved two clear with a chip-in birdie on the 17th and, despite Goya’s birdie on the last, Slattery held on to win by one.
Defending champion David Horsey finished third with a group of four players, including England’s James Heath and Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey, tied for fourth.
Four Talking points from the M2M Russian Open
1 – It was an important win for Lee Slattery who didn’t have full European Tour exemption coming into this season. He finished 111th in the 2014 Race to Dubai. With the victory, he now has an exemption until the end of 2016. Slattery’s last, and only other, victory in the European Tour came in the 2011 Madrid Masters. He has played 105 European Tour events between the two wins. It had been a difficult year for Slattery to this point as his status has meant he hasn’t played in many of the more significant European Tour events. He’s now 66th on the Race to Dubai standings with a chance to make the season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
2 – Tano Goya may have come up just short, but the 27-year-old had cause for optimism. He had endured a desperate season to this point and had picked up only just over €10,000 in prize money on the main circuit. He still has a way to go to secure playing rights for next year, but he’s given himself a chance – he’s now 141st on the Race to Dubai standings.
“After how I started the year, this tournament gave me a real taste of it again,” he said.
3 – David Horsey had another good week. His third place finish followed a victory in the Made in Denmark two weeks ago. He has now moved into the top-50 on the Race to Dubai. He was the champion in this event last year and he put on an excellent defence.
“It’s nice to be back in contention more consistently, so hopefully I can continue this for the rest of the season,” he said.
4 – All four of the men who finished tied for fourth recorded (or matched) their best finish on the 2015 European Tour. James Heath picked up his biggest ever cheque, Oskar Henningsson had his best finish on tour since winning the Moravia Silesia Open back in 2009, Michael Hoey hadn’t managed better than a tie for fifth on tour this year and Pablo Martin notched up a second fourth place in 2015. The Spaniard is a three-time winner on the European Tour but has struggled to find any sort of form in recent years.
M2M Russian Open
Skolkovo Golf Club, Moscow, Russia
Purse: €1,000,000, par 71
1 Lee Slattery (Eng) 66 67 67 69 269 €166,660
2 Estanislao Goya (Arg) 68 67 67 68 270 €111,110
3 David Horsey (Eng) 67 70 66 68 271 €62,600
T4 James Heath (Eng) 70 66 71 65 272 €39,350
T4 Oskar Henningsson (Swe) 69 68 67 68 272 €39,350
T4 Michael Hoey (NIR) 71 66 71 64 272 €39,350
T4 Pablo Martin (Esp) 68 67 70 67 272 €39,350
T8 Ben Evans (Eng) 67 68 71 67 273 €22,467
T8 Craig Lee (Sco) 67 69 66 71 273 €22,467
T8 Jake Roos (RSA) 68 74 68 63 273 €22,467
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage
2015 Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x review video: