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  Monday, February 24, 2020
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The 9th BMW Russian Open, an international professional golf tournament, began on Wednesday at the Le Meridien Moscow Country Club in Nakhabino
President of the Russian Golf Association (RGA) Konstantin Kozhevnikov, the tournament's director Jose Maria Zamora as well as Prince Michael of Kent attended the opening ceremony which was led by Ivan Sergeyev, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry's diplomatic corps. In his speech, Prince Michael thanked the audience for the warm reception and wished all the players good luck. Following the official opening ceremony, there was an amateur competition and Mr. Kozhevnikov demonstrated his outstanding golf skills. Russians Dmitry Vinogradov and Alexander Gruzdov, who will play in the actual tournament, gave individual practice lessons. Three other Russian will play in the tournament - Andrei Pavlov, Vladimir Rasskazov and Konstantin Gribkov. According to Steve Birman, an organizer, two-time champion (1999, 2002) Iain Pyman as well as Andrew Coltart, who finished fourth last, will also compete in the Moscow round of the PGA European Tour. Finnish Jarmo Sandelin, who played for the European team, Tony Johnston from Zimbabwe and Austrian Markus Brier are also some of the stronger golfer playing, RGA Secretary General Aleksei Nikolov said. According to him, it will be hard for the Russians to fight for the finals in such outstanding company. Approximately 100 golfers from the U.S., Germany, Spain, France, Sweden, Denmark and Argentina will compete. This year the prize money is $500,000. The winner of the tournament will get approximately $82,000. A special prize - a BMW 3 series - will be given to any players who hits a hole in one. The open starts on Thursday, August 12, and the winners will be determined on Sunday, August 15
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