M2M Russian Open: Talking points

Lee Slattery of England won the M2M Russian Open at Skolkovo GC

Lee Slattery wins M2M Russian Open
Lee Slattery wins M2M Russian Open
(Image credit: Getty Images)

England’s Lee Slattery finished one clear of Tano Goya of Argentina to win the M2M Russian Open, here's what we learned at the event.

England’s Lee Slattery finished one clear of Tano Goya of Argentina at Skolkovo Golf Club in Moscow to win the M2M Russian Open and claim his second European Tour title.

Slattery gained an early advantage on Sunday when he holed a long-range birdie putt on the first hole. But Tano Goya put pressure on Slattery with a birdie at the 3rd. When the Argentinian made a further gain at the 6th, and Slattery bogeyed the same hole, there was a change of leader with Goya hitting the front.

On the run for home, it was Slattery who proved to be the stronger. He birdied the 14th and, after Goya had dropped shots at the 13th and 15th holes, the 37-year-old Englishman was in the lead once more. He moved two clear with a chip-in birdie on the 17th and, despite Goya’s birdie on the last, Slattery held on to win by one.

Defending champion David Horsey finished third with a group of four players, including England’s James Heath and Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey, tied for fourth.

Four Talking points from the M2M Russian Open

1 - It was an important win for Lee Slattery who didn’t have full European Tour exemption coming into this season. He finished 111th in the 2014 Race to Dubai. With the victory, he now has an exemption until the end of 2016. Slattery’s last, and only other, victory in the European Tour came in the 2011 Madrid Masters. He has played 105 European Tour events between the two wins. It had been a difficult year for Slattery to this point as his status has meant he hasn’t played in many of the more significant European Tour events. He’s now 66th on the Race to Dubai standings with a chance to make the season-ending DP World Tour Championship.

2 - Tano Goya may have come up just short, but the 27-year-old had cause for optimism. He had endured a desperate season to this point and had picked up only just over €10,000 in prize money on the main circuit. He still has a way to go to secure playing rights for next year, but he’s given himself a chance – he’s now 141st on the Race to Dubai standings. “After how I started the year, this tournament gave me a real taste of it again,” he said.

3 - David Horsey had another good week. His third place finish followed a victory in the Made in Denmark two weeks ago. He has now moved into the top-50 on the Race to Dubai. He was the champion in this event last year and he put on an excellent defence. "It's nice to be back in contention more consistently, so hopefully I can continue this for the rest of the season,” he said.

4 - All four of the men who finished tied for fourth recorded (or matched) their best finish on the 2015 European Tour. James Heath picked up his biggest ever cheque, Oskar Henningsson had his best finish on tour since winning the Moravia Silesia Open back in 2009, Michael Hoey hadn’t managed better than a tie for fifth on tour this year and Pablo Martin notched up a second fourth place in 2015. The Spaniard is a three-time winner on the European Tour but has struggled to find any sort of form in recent years.

M2M Russian Open Skolkovo Golf Club, Moscow, Russia Sep 3-6 Purse: €1,000,000, par 71

1    Lee Slattery (Eng)    66    67    67    69    269    €166,660 2    Estanislao Goya (Arg)    68    67    67    68    270    €111,110 3    David Horsey (Eng)    67    70    66    68    271    €62,600 T4    James Heath (Eng)    70    66    71    65    272    €39,350 T4    Oskar Henningsson (Swe) 69    68    67    68    272    €39,350 T4    Michael Hoey (NIR)    71    66    71    64    272    €39,350 T4    Pablo Martin (Esp)    68    67    70    67    272    €39,350 T8    Ben Evans (Eng)        67    68    71    67    273    €22,467 T8    Craig Lee (Sco)        67    69    66    71    273    €22,467 T8    Jake Roos (RSA)        68    74    68    63    273    €22,467

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

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Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?