The M2M Russian Open will return to the stunning Tseleevo Golf & Polo Club for its eighth edition from July 24-27, 2014.
Located on the outskirts of the Russian capital Moscow, Tseleevo Golf & Polo Club is the only course in the country designed by 18-time Major Champion Jack Nicklaus.
The 7,491 yards, par 72 layout hosted the €1 million event for the first time last year, when it received rave reviews from the field including Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey, who will return to Moscow to defend his title this year.
Hoey turned the final day into a victory parade after establishing a commanding lead with a round of 65 on the third day, eventually prevailing by four shots from Frenchman Alex Kaleka and Englishman Matthew Nixon.
The five-time European Tour champion said: “It’s a fantastic course, especially the back nine. There’s a run of holes from the 11th which are as good as anywhere. It’s really picturesque, and the greens are especially good.
“A few of the guys who had played it on the Challenge Tour said what a good course it was, and they were right. It’s quite a long course but the fairways are fairly generous, which suits my game because I’m not always the straightest off the tee. I putted really well last year, which I guess you have to if you’re going to win any golf tournament.
“I was five shots ahead going into the last round, so I knew that unless I did something stupid I was probably going to win. It wasn’t the most exciting final day in the world because I just kept it steady, but it was obviously great to get another win on the board.
“I’m sure the field will be even better too after the guys have heard that the course is so good, so I’m really looking forward to going back.”
Andrey Vdovin, co-owner of M2M Private Bank, said: “Following the successful staging of the M2M Russian Open last year, we are ready to welcome back this elite event to the Tseleevo Golf & Polo Club, which has everything to ensure that the players and spectators have an unforgettable week, both on and off the course.
“M2M Private Bank is delighted to continue its contribution to golf development in Russia, given the fact that golf is to be an Olympic discipline, we believe that now it is especially crucial to support the game.
“The Russian Open is the most professional and prestigious golf tournament that takes place in our country and promotes Russia as a remarkable destination on the world golfing map, attracting both professionals and amateurs alike.”
Dmitry Kozachenko, Director General of Tseleevo Golf & Polo Club, said: “We took into account all the suggestions of last year’s Tour participants and plan to surprise everyone – spectators, golfers, and even the organisers themselves. And it's not just about the quality and readiness of the greens – which remain a constant of the club from year to year.
“The brand ‘Tseleevo Golf and Polo Club’ contains two components – golf and polo – and we have decided to combine the two of the most high-profiled events, the Russian stage of The European Tour and the Royal British Polo Day. In terms of timing, the competitions will not overlap, and thus, the audience will have time to enjoy both tournaments, so we plan to have an interesting programme aimed at attracting families with children to Tseleevo."
Sweden’s Mikael Lundberg has won the M2M Russian Open twice, first in 2005 and then in 2008. Other winners include Australian Marcus Fraser (2003), Gary Emerson (2004), Spaniard Alejandro Cañizares (2006) and Sweden’s Per-Ulrik Johansson (2007).