England’s Iain Pyman became the first player to win two BMW Russian Opens when he carded a closing 69 at the Moscow Country Club.
Pyman, who won his first title in 1999, finished on 19 under par 269, a shot ahead of playing partner Benn Barham and Guido Van der Valk from Holland.
In a week of records, Pyman not only set a new course record with 62 in round one, but his total equalled the low aggregate for the tournament and he also became the first player to win the same Challenge Tour title twice.
“It’s absolutely brilliant to win this title again,” he said. “When I won here before it was my first victory on the Challenge Tour. This now my fifth but the main thing is that I have got my European Tour card for next year.”
Although he started the day three strokes behind Barham, Pyman was on fire from the start, opening with five straight birdies. That put him on 21 under and although Barham began with two birdies, he also dropped four shots in the other three holes to drop four behind his rival.
From then on Pyman’s victory was never in doubt, although Van der Valk, playing two matches ahead, was steadily climbing the leaderboard.
The 22 year old Dutchman, who only turned pro last October, was out in 32 and added three more birdies to get to 18 under after 15 holes. But he couldn’t make further inroads, driving into the water at the 17th and missing from 10 feet for birdie at the last.
“I didn’t think I could catch Iain unless he made a lot of mistakes,” said Van der Valk. “If I could have holed for birdie at the last it might have been different. This is my best Challenge Tour performance and considering I started eight shots back I’m very happy.”
Barham’s run of bogey-bogey-double bogey from the third put him on the back foot and he dropped another shot at the ninth to be out in 39 and back to 16 under. He managed to birdie the 15th to give himself a chance but he also found the water at the 17th.
However, he managed to birdie the last to pull alongside Van der Valk and his share of second place hoisted the Kent man up to ninth in the Ranking.
Pyman is now ranked third and he summed up his day by saying: “I knew I needed a good start today because Benn had been playing so well. I couldn’t have asked for a better start with five birdies and from then on I never felt under too much pressure. I knew that Guido was doing well and when I three-putted the 16th it puts so doubts in your mind.
“But I hit two great shots into the 17th and got a birdie. I was in between clubs on the 18th and my ball finished on the front of the green a long way from the hole, but the three putts from there didn’t do any damage.”
Ireland’s Damien McGrane carded a bogey-free 67 for fourth place on 273, while another Englishmen, Denny Lucas, completed four rounds in the sixties with 68 for fifth spot on 275.