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SLATTERY CLAIMS M2M RUSSIAN OPEN TITLE

Lee Slattery won the M2M Russian Open by a single shot on Sunday to clinch his second European Tour title.

The Englishman posted a two under par 69 in his fourth round at Skolkovo Golf Club to end the tournament on 15 under and claim his first victory since winning the Bankia Madrid Masters in 2011.

Estanislao Goya finished second on 14 under par, with last year's champion David Horsey a stroke further back on 13 under.

After fog had delayed the start of play by two hours, Slattery got his round off to the perfect start, rolling in his long range birdie putt at the first to move to 14 under par.

However, Slattery bogeyed the second before seeing his lead reduced to one stroke when Goya fired a birdie at the third.

The 37 year old dropped another shot at the sixth, with Goya carding a birdie at the same hole to leapfrog his playing partner at the top of the leaderboard.

Slattery kept up the pressure on Goya by matching his birdie at the 11th, only to find himself a further shot off the lead when the 27 year old made another gain at the 12th.

But with the Argentine dropping a shot at the 13th and Slattery notching a birdie at the next, Goya's second bogey of the day on the 15th handed Slattery the outright lead.

And Slattery extended his advantage to two strokes when he chipped in for another birdie at the 17th.

Goya carded a birdie at the last to pile the pressure on the Englishman, but he held his nerve, tapping in his crucial par putt to win by one shot.

Slattery was delighted to taste victory once again after a difficult season. He said: "It has been a difficult year.

"It's just nice to be able to finish the year off like this, with a win, knowing that I can plan next year now and hopefully get myself going again to where I belong, I feel."

Reflecting on his chip at the 17th, he added: "It's funny, the thing that has been letting me down most has probably been my short game in the last few months, so I've worked so hard at that.

"To chip one in at such an important time meant so much and it shows that practice pays off eventually. Lee Slattery

"Holing the long putt at 14 was crucial. I know that Tano (Estanislao Goya) bogeyed 13 and the other two guys hit good shots into the next and I thought, 'if I can hole my putt on top of these two here, I'll have a chance', and I managed to do that and I just pushed on really. That chip in was massive.

"It's always nice to know you can hole a three foot putt on the last to win a tournament, so that meant a lot."

Despite falling just short, Goya was thrilled with his performance. He said: "I played great the last three or four days.

"After how I have started the year, this tournament gave me a real taste of it again and even though I was leading and I finished second, Lee played great and finished great to chip in at 17.

“I did the best I could. I think I played great and he beat me by one. I’m pretty happy anyway."

Horsey, who carded three birdies on his way to a closing 68, was pleased to be high on the leaderboard again, after winning this event last year.

He said: "It's always nice to come back and do well, and put in another good performance.

"It's nice to be back in contention more consistently, so hopefully I can continue this for the rest of the season.

"If I had holed a few more putts this week, it might have been a different story but sometimes you have those sort of weeks and you've just got to take the positives and move on."

Michael Hoey, winner of this event in 2013, carded seven birdies on day four to finish on 12 under alongside James Heath, who carded two eagles in his final round, Pablo Martin Benavides and Oskar Henningsson.

Meanwhile Jake Roos posted the best round of the week on Sunday when he carded nine birdies and a solitary bogey on his way to a closing 63.

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