This will be the second occasion the Russian Open has been held at the Tseleevo Golf and Polo Club, Michael Hoey winning when the event was played here for the first occasion last year.
Coming just one week after the Open Championship and just ahead of the WGC Bridgestone and with prize-money amongst the lowest of the European Tour, the event is hardly the who's who of European Tour golf but that will matter little to those who have travelled to Moscow, many of them fighting for survival on the European Tour.
Rikard Karlberg is one of the higher ranked players in the field and did have a good tournament here last year when 13th. He has put together several solid tournaments against stronger fields season and deserves to be one of the favourites to do well.
Matthew Dixon tied for 2nd in this event last year and with good finishes in France and Ireland in recent weeks he is a great chance this week given his obvious liking for the course.
Bradley Dredge is a much better player than his world ranking of 744 would suggest. Dredge is currently playing the Challenge Tour as he tries to find a way back to the European Tour where he has played well enough to win the European Masters in previous years.
Dredge is playing well enough on the Challenge Tour this year and given this is a very weak field then he might be a chance of an immediate return to full status in Europe by winning this week.
Victorian Jack Wilson is the only Australian in the field and although he surprised many with several good finished in Australia last summer he has struggled in European Tour and Challenge Tour events he has played this season.