Michael Hoey (Getty Images)
Michael Hoey edged closer to a fifth European Tour title as he turned five shots clear at the M2M Russian Open.
The Northern Irishman started the day with a four shot lead after a brilliant third round 65 at Tseleevo Golf & Polo Club, but saw that advantage eroded to three when halfway leader Rikard Karlberg birdied the second and fourth.
The 34 year old Hoey - who had not finished better than 25th on The European Tour this season and missed seven of his last ten cuts coming into the event – began his final round with six consecutive pars but birdies at the seventh and eighth saw him advance to 16 under par.
Swede Karlberg remained the nearest challenger on 11 under after turning in 34, with France’s Alexandre Kaleka – who won this event last year on the Challenge Tour – third on ten under.
Hoey dropped his first shot of the day at the 12th, and with Karlberg also falling back after a double bogey at the tenth, Kaleka’s birdies at the 11th and 15th left him second and three behind with three to play.
He was joined on 12 under by Dane JB Hansen, who had three birdies and an eagle over his first six holes on the inward nine to be five under for the day.