ONE NOT ENOUGH FOR LUNDBERG

Features

Sweden’s Mikael Lundberg is already targeting further tournament victories after claiming his second Inteco Russian Open title in four years.

Sweden’s Mikael Lundberg is already targeting further tournament victories after claiming his second Inteco Russian Open title in four years.
Lundberg, winner in Moscow in 2005, carded a final round of 68 for a 21-under-par total at Le Meridien Moscow Country Club and a two-shot victory over Spain’s Jose Manuel Lara (64).
England’s Benn Barham birdied the final hole to finish third on 18 under, with Norway’s Jan Are Larsen a shot further back in fourth.
Former world amateur number one Jamie Moul, one off the lead overnight, could only manage a closing 73 to fall back into a tie for sixth.
Lundberg’s win in 2005 was worth “just” £53,000 and came with a one-year tour exemption as the tournament was a dual-ranking event between the European Tour and Challenge Tour.
With the tournament having since gained full European Tour status, receiving increased financial backing, yesterday’s triumph earnt the 34-year-old Swede £166,000 and exempt status until the end of 2010.
“The first one was great because it was my first victory but this one means even more because the money was a lot more and I get a two-year exemption instead of the one I got last time,” Lundberg admitted.
“It feels amazing.
“That’s so important because I can approach the next two years differently because I can relax and try and go out there and win some more tournaments.
“But I’m happy to celebrate what has happened here for the moment – it’s fantastic and I don’t really know if I believe it yet.”
Lundberg began the final round with a one-shot lead but could not pull clear of a crowded leaderboard and looked like blowing his chances on the 15th.
After pulling his drive into the trees, Lundberg hit a tree with his recovery attempt and had to hack out down the fairway with his third shot.
However, he then pitched to seven feet and holed for a vital par before making birdies on the next two holes to have the luxury of playing the last with a two-shot lead.
“I can’t even explain what I was feeling when I hit the driver into the trees. I just thought, ‘You idiot’,” he added.
“When I got to it, I hit it even further in the trees. When I got that one, I thought that I could either go out backwards onto the fairway or I could take a chance under a few branches.
“I knew if I didn’t take the chance then I had no chance to win anyway so I went for it and made the par.
“Making the par on the 15th was really important because I knew I could still win. I knew I had a birdie chance on the 17th but when I holed that putt on 16, I thought that maybe this is my day.”

Latest