Mikael Lundberg is ready to launch his bid for a third M2M Russian Open title after a five year break from a country that he likes to call his second home.
Winner of the Russian Open in 2005 and 2008 (as well as finishing third in 2006), Lundberg is looking to continue his love affair with Russia at the stunning Tseleevo Golf and Polo Club this week.
Lundberg couldn’t help but burst into a huge grin when europeantour.com greeted the Swede with a huge ‘Welcome Home!’ greeting on the first tee of the Tseleevo Golf and Polo Club.
The last time Lundberg spoke to the Media in Russia was five years ago. He had just won the M2M Russian Open for the second time in four years and was asked the question: “So, when will change nationality and become a Russian?”
The mischievous question was answered with the same grin he gave on the first tee this afternoon at Tseleevo. There is just something about Russia that makes Lundberg tick.
“Obviously you never really know the reasons why you play well in a certain country or a certain place because if we knew the answer to that question we would play to our best ability every week,” said Lundberg.
“But there is definitely something special about Russia that brings out the best in me. Well, it certainly has done in the past and I have to say that this week I feel good and feel confident so I don’t think it is a co-incidence.
“We are playing a different course this week to the one that I had so much success on but there are similar feeling for me around this place and I have to say that Tseleevo is just a magnificent golf course.
“I have so many great memories of Russia that I hope it continues this week. The game is in prettu good shape and things are coming together. I have had to do a lot of work on my short game this year which is unusual for me as it is usually the strongest part of my game, but I have made some progress on it and hopefully I can show that this week.
Lundberg is well aware of relying too much on the good vibes he feels in Russia to get him through this week. No-one is more acutely aware of the fact he still has to play 72 holes of brilliant golf to have a chance of claiming a third Russian Open title.
“That is one thing I have to try and get right,” he continued. “You have to try and find the correct balance because it is alright to have a good history here and everything else, but I still need to hit the shots this week and play really good to have any chance of getting into contention.
“But it feels great to be back here – maybe if I win for third time I will automatically become Russian!”