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Mikko Ilonen

Team: PGA Golfer
Age / DOB:  (36) / 12/18/1979
Ht / Wt:  6'2" / 183

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Thanks to a walk-off birdie at 18, Mikko Ilonen completed 5-under-par 32-34=66 in round one of the British Masters in Hertfordshire, England, good enough for a share of the clubhouse lead with Scotland's Marc Warren. UPDATE: Ilonen and Warren were joined in the lead by Tommy Fleetwood and Richard Sterne.
The Finn carded a pair of closing 67s to post T18 in last week's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland and went one better today after signing for an eagle and four birdies against a lone bogey. Ilonen gave his round an early thrust with an eagle-3 at the 537-yard second hole and picked up another shot at 7. After starting his back nine birdie-bogey he rejoined the lead with another circle at 16 and edged one in front of previous clubhouse leaders Lee Westwood and David Horsey with a closing birdie at the 518-yard last. His 66 was later matched by Warren. The most recent of his five European Tour wins came in England when he beat Henrik Stenson in the final of the 2014 Volvo World Match Play Championship at the London Golf Club. Oct 13 - 8:24 AM

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Mikko Ilonen has played in 14 of the last 15 Alfred Dunhill Links Championships and will look to turn that experience into a big finish in this week's edition.

The Finn missed three of his first five cuts after debuting in 2001 but is 8-for-9 since at the pro-am event played over four rounds at St. Andrews (2), Kingsbarns and Carnoustie. That said, he's never managed to get in realistic title contention and T22 in 2012 remains his best result (it followed T29 and T26 the previous two years). Ilonen is 67th on this year's Race to Dubai so still has work to do to make the top 60 who will contest the season closer, November's DP World Tour Championship. He's made the top 25 in 11 of of 21 starts but, much like his Alfred Dunhill Links form, those solid numbers lack anything of real sparkle. T12 is his best finish although at least that came in last month's Omega European Masters in Switzerland.
Oct 5 - 3:14 AM

Mikko Ilonen overcame a car-crash start to his third round before compiling a 2-under-par 37-31=68 in the Omega European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre GC.

When the 36-year-old headed to the 6th tee he was 4-over for the day and on track to waste the good work of his opening 36 holes, after a double bogey-6 at 5 followed back to back bogeys at 3 and 4. Birdies at 7 and 8 made some amends, before back nine red numbers at 10, 14, 17 and 18 confirmed the recovery and left him T4, four strokes behind the leader Scott Hend with one round to play. He hit 15 greens Saturday, but failed to save par on each of the three exceptions. Ilonen has been in the top five at the 18- and 36-hole stage of this event, but this is the first time in 13 visits he has found himself in the top 15 after 54-holes. His best finish was T7 in 2006.
Sep 3 - 12:04 PM

Mikko Ilonen is looking for a first top ten of the year as he heads to Crans-sur-Sierre GC for the 2016 Omega European Masters.

The mighty Finn has a patchy record in the thin air of Crans Montana. He's 6-for-11 with three top 20s including two top tens, but he's never yet genuinely contended. In fact he has never found himself in the top 15 with 18 holes to play (although he has been top five after 18 holes on three occasions). He's had a solid year with nothing spectacular. To prove that point he's 12-for-17 including ten top 25 finishes (and yet not one of them top ten). Last seen in Rio, competing in the 31st Olympiad when he was T7 after 54 holes before a final round 73 saw him slip back to T21.
Aug 30 - 12:25 PM

Mikko Ilonen torched the Olympic Golf Course with a 5-under-par 33-33=66 during round two of the Men's Golf Competition, posting 5-under 208 at the three-quarter mark.

The Finn had one blemish on his scorecard today, coming at the par-3 fourth hole. He found trouble trying to hit out of the greenside bunker and left himself 9'7" after three strokes, settling for a double after a two-putt. The rest of his round was really anchored by great putting. He splashed home six putts from outside 11 feet, including a 42'10" birdie bomb at the par-4 ninth. Ilonen walked off the Olympic Golf Course gaining 4.150 strokes putting on the day. The Finn currently sits at T8 on the live leaderboard with a legitimate chance at earning a medal tomorrow.
Aug 13 - 1:50 PM

Mikko Ilonen had little difficulty overcoming Jin Jeong 3&2 in the first round of the Paul Lawrie Match Play at Archerfield Links Golf Club.

The Finn, the 2014 Volvo World Match Play champion, would have been viewing his Korean opponent as something of a potential banana skin, given that Jeong is 0-for-24 and has racked up no less than 22 scores of 80 or more in that period. Perhaps the format change helped him, however, because he reached the 8th tee 1-up after a birdie at 3 and eagle at 6 overcame an early Ilonen birdie. But the Finn was to win 3 of the next 4 holes, thanks to 2 red numbers of his own and a blue for Jeong. Jeong kept the game alive until he made bogey on 16. Ilonen will take on Max Kieffer in round two after the German beat Edoardo Molinari 3&2.
Aug 4 - 11:38 AM

Mikko Ilonen traded birdies and bogeys in compiling a 3-under-par round of 34-34=68 in Friday's second round which left him on 5-under 137 for the week and co-leading the 100th Open de France.

The Finn is tied at the top alongside Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee, Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, South Africa's Brandon Stone and Korean Jeunghun Wang after ticking 5 birdies and crossing 2 bogeys in round two. He's one of just two players to have broken 70 in both rounds. It was a stunning effort Friday given that he found just 3 fairways from the tee, but the rest of his game was tidy enough to make up for this failing. His position of prominence is even more extraordinary when you consider that he has doubled his number of sub-70 rounds on the Albatros course (previously 2 in 26) and has never finished higher than T45 in 8 visits.
Jul 1 - 8:41 AM

Mikko Ilonen has two top 20s on his last three starts at Gut Larchenhof and will try his luck there again in this week's BMW International Open.

Both those (T13 in 2007 and T16 in 2008) came when the course hosted the Mercedes-Benz Championship. He shot 68-72-71-68 for T51 when returning there in this week's event two years ago. Ilonen is still looking for a first top 10 in 24 starts on German soil although at least two of his better efforts have come at Gut Larchenhof. This year, he's 74th o the Race to Dubai having cashed 7 times in 12 starts. After a run of three missed cuts, he hit back with T20 at the Nordea Masters last time so will look to build on that return to form.
Jun 22 - 5:11 AM

Mikko Ilonen hung up a 2-under-par 33-37=70 in round two of the Nordea Masters in Sweden and is 6-under 136 at the midpoint, currently T4 on the leaderboard.

The Finn represented a classic course form v current form dilemma for gamers this week as he'd missed his last three cuts on the European Tour but was returning to a venue where he'd posted a win and a T3 on this last two visits. So far, the course formers have it after Ilonen stayed on page one of the leaderboard with another sub-par round at one of his favorite tracks. The 36-year-old squared a bogey at 11 but then found a groove with birdies at 12, 15, 17 and 18. He did quieten after that, though, and shot eight pars and a bogey on his second nine to end five behind leader Matt Fitzpatrick. A tidy short game is fuelling Ilonen's challenge and he's 8-for-11 in scrambling so far after hitting 11 and 14 greens respectively over the first two days.
Jun 3 - 7:35 AM

Mikko Ilonen continued his sensational form at Bro Hof Slot GC with an opening round of 4-under-par 35-33=68 at the Nordea Masters.

The Finn was T3 at this track in 2012 and a winner 12 months later. He also completed victory in the event at Arlandastad back in 2007 so it's safe to say he feels comfortable in his surroundings and he proved it again Thursday. He missed 7 greens in regulation but his short game was showing a sure touch. He saved par 5 times and needed just 26 putts in the round. After a birdie at 2 and bogey at 5 he neared the turn in a sedate level-par however. But red at No. 9 prompted the move. He circled 11, 13, 15 and 18, whilst squaring only 14 on the way back. Signing his card he was one behind the lead group: a scrum of six players on 5-under.
Jun 2 - 12:21 PM

2014 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open champion Mikko Ilonen heads to the The K Club in need of a good week to spark a solid season.

In 9 starts this year the Finn has turned in something of a mixed set of results. He’s missed 3 cuts (all of them in his last 5 starts) but when he has made the weekend he’s been very solid indeed, racking up 5 top 25 finishes, but not yet inside the top 10. Perhaps a return to a happy event will allow him to turn a good week into a very good one. He was the winner of this event in 2014 and boasts another 4 top 20 finishes in 14 Irish starts. He also has course experience (T19 and T39) and a strong affinity with Ireland, having played there a great deal as an amateur, funded by a mentor.
May 17 - 12:12 PM

Mikko Ilonen heads to the Volvo China Open knowing that a new venue holds no fear given his tournament specialist tag.

Back in late 2014, two weeks after his last victory on tour (the Volvo World Match Play Championship) the Finn finished T10 in China, in the BMW Masters. That month was arguably the high point of his career and yet he’s not finished in the top ten since. If that’s the bad news, the better news is that he has four top 20s in his last 7 starts, including T13 last week in the Shenzhen International. Moreover 7 of his last 12 starts in China have seen him finish in the top 25, and more pertinently his event form is relentless, with 7 of his 9 starts being top 30s, including three top tens in his last 5 starts. He’ll not be afraid of a new venue and he just needs the win to rubber-stamp his excellent tournament record.
Apr 26 - 6:54 AM

Mikko Ilonen heads to the Open de Espana this week and will hope to crack the code at Valderrama after struggling on his two previous starts there.

Ilonen played in both the 2007 Volvo Masters and 2010 Andalucia Masters at the iconic Spanish venue but shot scores of 83-72-78-75 in the no-cut former event and 76-75 in the latter. In fact, his struggles extend to other Spanish venues as he's posted T55 and missed three other cuts in his last four tournaments in the country. The Finn had some nice form going at the start of the season with four straight top 25s but failed to cash in his two latest events in Australia and Thailand.
Apr 13 - 6:42 AM

Mikko Ilonen will make his annual start in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters this week.

The Finn struggled in his early visits to Doha GC, missing four of his first five cuts. But he's had some notable success in recent years with a T9 in 2013 and a second place behind Sergio Garcia in 2014 after closing with a 66, his lowest round on the par 72. Ilonen made his first start of the season in Abu Dhabi last week and went under par on all four days to slot in at T22. With the field weaker here, there's a decent chance he can get in the mix again.
Jan 25 - 9:04 AM

Mikko Ilonen charged up the leaderboard with a 5-under-par 33-33=66 in his second round at the Porsche European Open in Germany.

With scoring conditions trickier than in round one, The Finn's morning lap at the Beckenbauer course resulted in a leap of over 50 spots and he's currently T4 on the live leaderboard. Ilonen made his move early with four straight birdies out of the gate before dropping his only shot of the day at 18. He added two more par breakers at 3 and 7 to reach 7-under 135 and settle just three behind clubhouse leader Charl Schwartzel. His numbers were far stronger today as he split 10 (of 13) fairways and hit 14 greens in regulation compared to 4 and 9 in those respective categories in his opening 69.
Fri, Sep 25, 2015 09:16:00 AM