Swede seals Russian success
Per-Ulrik Johansson shot a composed final round of 67 to wrap up victory at the Russian Open.
Last Updated: 05/08/07 7:34pm
Per-Ulrik Johansson shot a composed final round of 67 to wrap up his first European Tour title in a decade at the Russian Open on Sunday.
The Swede finished on 23-under-par - a tournament record - some six shots clear of closest challenger Robert-Jan Derksen.
His last win came at the 1997 Smurfit European Open, but the 40-year-old showed no signs of nerves as the winning post came into sight, returning a bogey-free final round to claim the £165,000 winner's cheque in Moscow.
Scot Alan McLean claimed third spot on 16-under, while Englishman Alan Gee finished three shots further back in a tie for fourth with South African Dawie Van Der Walt.
Johansson started the day with a four-shot lead and never looked like surrendering his commanding advantage.
Indeed, he set about extending it almost immediately as he settled any early nerves with a birdie four at the par-five second.
Derksen started with two consecutive birdies to briefly spark thoughts of a challenge, but he did not then pick up another stroke on the front nine with a bogey at nine all but ending his hopes.
By contrast Johansson got stronger as his round progressed and birdies at five, seven and nine saw him hit the turn some seven strokes clear.
He maintained his form on the way home as he cruised to victory with eight pars and further birdie at 11, meaning he produced only one bogey and one double-bogey all week.
It's the 40-year-old's sixth career title, moves him up to 191th on the European Order of Merit and also gains him a two-year Tour exemption.
"I feel great," Johansson told the European Tour's website. "I haven't won since 1997. I have played some good golf since then but I haven't played this well so I am very, very pleased.
"It is tough when you haven't won for that long but the most important thing is that you still have to play when you get into a position.
"You can't think about winning because you can't control the other people so I am very pleased with the way I did that.
"I focused on every shot and the only time my mind wandered away a little bit was in the middle of the round and I was thinking about speeches and stuff but I kicked myself and said, no, no, think only about the present and it really worked.
"I think my putting was the best I have ever putted through a whole tournament. I can't remember making that many putts.
"My long game was okay and I kept the ball in play but every time I got the ball on the green I felt like I had a chance for birdie - that was a great feeling."