Friday, 19 March 2010

Mikael Lundberg has won the Inteco Russian Open Golf Championship for the second time after shooting a final round score of 68.

The Swede, a winner here in 2005, finished on 21 under par at Le Meridien Moscow Country Club for a two-shot victory over Spain's Jose Manuel Lara.

England's Benn Barham birdied the last to finish third on 18 under with Norway's Jan Are Larsen a shot further back in fourth. Jamie Moul, one off the lead overnight, could only manage a closing 73 to fall back into a tie for sixth.

Lara had moved into the lead with his eighth birdie of the day on the 14th, but promptly bogeyed the next after failing to make the most of a stroke of luck when his ball hit a spectator to prevent it running into the trees.

The 31 year old then drew level with a birdie on the 17th and set the clubhouse target on 19 under with a round of 64, and it looked like Lundberg would also fall victim to the 15th.

After pulling his drive into the trees, Lundberg hit a tree with his recovery attempt and had to hack out down the fairway with his third shot, but then pitched to seven feet and holed for a vital par.

He then holed from 25 feet for birdie on the 16th and from five feet for another birdie on the next to have the luxury of playing the last with a two-shot lead.

A par promptly followed to give the Swede, whose compatriot Per-Ulrik Johansson won the event last year, his second career title on The European Tour.

"This is my absolute favourite place, everything is great here," said Lundberg, who lost his card in 2006 but returned to the tour via the Challenge Tour last year.

"The worst part is you come here and it feels like I always play well and I should do well, so you put a lot of pressure on yourself and you wonder when you are going to screw up!

"I didn't play good at all," Lundberg added.

"I didn't want to make any mistakes and just tried to play it safe until Lara went in front and I loosened up a bit.

"On 15 I hit a terrible drive in the trees but managed to save par somehow and I holed two great putts on 16 and 17. The save on 15 turned everything around. If I don't make that I'm behind and have no chance."

Lundberg had missed the cut in his previous two events and failed to register a single top-ten finish in 2008, but takes home the first prize of € 210,237 and a two-year tour exemption.

"I'm pretty satisfied with my game, I just had not put the scores together," he added.

"I just somehow screwed up on one or two holes every tournament.

"I told my coach and everyone back home that the game was there and hopefully it would all turn around this week, and it did."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1LUNDBERG, MikaelSWE18-21
2LARA, José ManuelESP18-19
3BARHAM, BennENG18-18
4LARSEN, Jan-AreNOR18-17
5DRYSDALE, DavidSCO18-16
T6MOUL, JamieENG18-15
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