Hoey homecoming after win in Russia

Hoey homecoming after win in Russia

Belfast golfer Michael Hoey is back home after picking up his fifth win on the European Tour - and UTV caught up with the Russian Open champion.

Michael Hoey returned to Shandon Park golf club on Tuesday where it all began for him as a young boy.

It's been 16 months since his last victory on tour, but there was no stopping the 34-year-old in Russia over the weekend.

Taking a five-shot lead into the final day, he held his nerve to win by four shots on 16 under.

He said: "It was tough sleeping on that lead because I was thinking about winning and thinking what happens if I choke or through this away.

I don't know how I did it but I was happy with the finish

Michael Hoey

"It was hard to play on Sunday, trying not to lose - you can't play golf like that like or you're going to lose it so you have to still be quite aggressive and play to shoot two or three under.

"That was my target and fortunately nobody came really close to me, and when they did I was able to make a birdie at the right time."

After living in London and Dubai over the last few years, Hoey moved back to Belfast several months ago and in June his wife Beverly gave birth to a baby girl.

He continued: "They all came over to London yesterday.

"I flew back into London from Russia and then we had a long day yesterday there was a lot of packing bags and it's tough work but it's great."

As Hoey celebrates another success he has sympathy for friend and compatriot Rory McIlroy, who has been a shadow of his former self this season.

He said: "He is unbelievable and he won't be over-thinking it either, his coach and his dad are brilliant advisors and, as I said, he did well at Bridgestone last year, that kickstarted his USPGA and then the Fed Ex Cup, so he has some good tournaments to look forward to."

Next up for Hoey is the Jonnie Walker Championships in three weeks time at Gleneagles.


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