Major Russian golf event “platform for European tour”

Golfers Mikhail Morozov and Galina Rotmistrova have clinched their second consecutive Russian Open titles at the 18th annual tournament held in the Moscow region.

Before reaching the last stage the players went through three 18-hole rounds of golf. This competition in the Moscow region serves not only as a showcase of up-and-coming talent, but also as a qualification for the European amateur championship, which will take place in August in Sweden and France.

The Russian Open is mostly an amateur tournament, but it could be destined for a much brighter future. Although it lacked big name golfers this time around, in the past 18 years the roster has featured some major European talent.

“Every year we invite different players from the national squads of the European countries,” says two-time champion of Russia and one of the organizers Kontantin Kozhevnikov.

“For a few years in a row English players won the Russian Open, and then performed very well in the European tour. So, the Russian Open is a good platform for them to start playing in Europe.”

There were no surprise winners in the 2009 Russian Open.

Last year’s champion Mikhail Morozov began the final day one under. His closest rival Andrey Pavlov was 11 strokes behind him.

17-year-old Morozov had no problem maintaining the lead and clinched the Russian title for the second year in a row.

Over in the ladies game two women proved yet again that they are the strongest female golfers that Russia has to offer.

Galina Rotmistrova was six strokes clear of Anastasia Kostina – a lead which she kept throughout the game, and how the unrivaled pair finished the tournament – in first and second place respectively.

The organizers of the tournament are keeping their fingers crossed, hoping that more professional golfers will display their skills at the Russian Open championship.

Given the financial downturn, Russia is left to cultivate home grown talent, a job it seems to be doing quite well.