Sunday, 22 August 1999
Iain Pyman (far right) completed his first professional victory in five years of trying when he won the BMW Russian Open at Moscow Country Club. But he had to overcome a rocky closing spell before lifting the top prize of 20,466 euros.

The Leeds-based Yorkshireman finished with a 71 for 15-under-par 273, one ahead of South African Hennie Otto, and three clear of Benoit Teilleria of France and Scotland's Greig Hutcheon.

Pyman was in cruise control on 17 under and four strokes clear standing on the par-three 16th tee but it was far from plain sailing.

He three-putted from 15 feet for bogey at 16 then drove into the lake at the long 17th to drop back to 15 under. At the same time Otto was holing for birdie at the 465-yard 18th for a 69 and 274, 14 under.

It left Pyman needing a par-four at the last to avoid a playoff and he did just that, driving in to the centre of the fairway, hitting his approach to 25 feet and safely two-putting for a 71.

"I wasn't getting nervous over those closing holes but I was frustrated on the back nine because I couldn't hole a putt," said Pyman. "But it's a nice feeling knowing you need a par at the last to win and then go and do it.

"I knew I could win tournaments from my amateur days but it's taken a long time. Now this is going to give me a lot of confidence to go on and perhaps win a couple more Challenge Tour events."

The unfortunate Hutcheon, who began the day two strokes behind playing partner Pyman, almost matched the Yorkshireman with a front nine of 33. But he ran into a string of bogeys coming home. Playing the last he was tied with Otto in second place but he took three from the back fringe for a 72 to drop into a share of third place on 276 with Teilleria, who romped up the leaderboard with a best-of-the-day 65.

Matching Pyman for the biggest smile of the day was Dutchman Niels Kraay who holed-in-one with a four-iron at the 197-yard eighth to win a BMW worth over £40,000.

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