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Mikko Ilonen

Team: PGA Golfer
Age / DOB:  (38) / 12/18/1979
Ht / Wt:  6'2" / 183

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A rested Mikko Ilonen will look to improve on his record in the BMW PGA Championship on the West Course at Wentworth in Virginia Water, England this week.
The Finn struggled to retain his card in 2017 but revealed in a recent Finnish newspaper interview that his strategy for 2018 is to be more selective in his schedule, aim for the big events and not waste energy. That might explain his sparse efforts so far. He's made just seven starts and hasn't missed a cut since the first. The highlight was T3 in the Trophee Hassan II and he followed it with T14 in the China Open. All that said he has not one top ten finish from 14 visits to Wentworth. His best effort was T12 in 2007, a result he repeated in 2013, but he's got just four top 30s in all. May 22 - 5:53 AM

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Mikko Ilonen torched Royal Golf Dar Es Salam in Rabat, Morocco with a 6-under-par lap of to hit the 54-hole mark of the Trophee Hassan II on 6-under 210, just one swing back of the leader Alvaro Quiros in a four-way tie for second with Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Alex Levy and Erik van Rooyen.

The Finn opened his account with a bogey-5 but thereafter it was nothing but progress in a round that raised him over 20 spots up the leaderboard. Twice he made three birdies in four holes. On the front nine at 5, 7 and 8, then on the back nine at 11, 12 and 14. "I stayed really patient late in the round," he said. "Around 15 and 16 which are playing hard." He then circled 18 to confirm genuine interest in the Sunday title hunt. "I wasn't expecting to go low," he admitted. "Things started to roll and I like the layout." He finished T3 at this course in 2010 and is now 7-for-7 in Morocco with four top 20s and another at his beck and call.
Apr 21 - 12:46 PM

Mikko Ilonen will seek to maintain his neat record in the Trophee Hassan II when he tees it up in this week at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam in Rabat.

The Finn has a really solid record in this event, going 6-for-6 with three top ten finishes. Four of those results were at Golf du Palais Royal but he's twice played Royal Dar. The track is a tough one, hence the Finn could finish a solid T34 12 months ago despite not breaking 70. But if the chance to go low presents itself, he has done it. Back in 2010 he was T3, banking laps of 71-69-67-66. He's had limited golf this term, going 4-for-5, but he hasn't finished higher than T26 in the Oman Open. A Finn won on the Challenge Tour last week (Kim Koivu in the Yunna Open). Ilonen is normally inspiring his fellow Finns, will it be the other way round this time?
Apr 16 - 5:24 PM

Mikko Ilonen has a fine record in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters but he shot his best opening round in 14 attempts today thanks to a 5-under-par 36-31=67, good enough for T7 and putting him just two back from co-leaders Eddie Pepperell, Gregory Havret and Aaron Rai.

The Finn has been runner-up, T9 and T13 in the last five years but today's lap of Doha GC eclipsed his previous R1 low by a shot, the 68 he hung up when taking second place in 2014. That seemed extremely unlikely when he opened with six pars and a bogey-4 at No. 3 but after balancing the books with a first red number at the 8th he got hot on the back nine. Ilonen birdied 10 and 11 before finishing with a rush of red thanks to par breakers at 15, 16 and 18. He came into the event on the back of T26 in Oman last week.
Feb 22 - 9:02 AM

Mikko Ilonen has finished top 15 in three of the last five editions of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters and he'll try his luck again at Doha GC this week.

The Finn was runner-up in 2014 after closing with 66 and that followed T9 the previous year. He added T13 two years ago although did miss the cut in both 2015 and 2017. He'll return to Doha having made his last three cuts, all in events held in the Middle East. Ilonen was T40 in Abu Dhabi, T57 in Dubai and then T26 in the Oman Open last week after a pair of weekend 70s. His recent putting stats look positive and could pave the way for another strong showing.
Feb 21 - 7:36 AM

Mikko Ilonen played all four rounds in last week's Australian Open but will want a better finish in this week's Australian PGA at Royal Pines.

The Finn looked to be in a promising position at halfway last week after shooting a second-round 68 to lie T19 but he lost his way on the weekend and rounds of 73-75 left him in in T52. It means he's still searching for the consistency he found when reeling off five straight top 25s from the end of July to the start of October. Ilonen has played 11 times in Australia but with very little success. He's missed six cuts and never cracked the top 40 although this is his first start at Royal Pines and he has played well in windy conditions before.
Wed, Nov 29, 2017 06:33:00 AM

Mikko Ilonen will be making his fourth appearance at the venerable Valderrama this week in the Andalucia Valderrama Masters.

The good news for the Finn is that he his second on the Access Points List so the fact he is just 107th on the Race to Dubai is not the problem it might have been. And it's perhaps just as well because his three visits to the course have reaped T50-MC-T45. On the latter two occasions he was hitting just 35 and 41% of the fairways, which isn't enough on this tight track. Nor is his recent experience of golfing within the trees good - he missed the cut last week at Golf Club Milano. He was T47 before that in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, prior to which he made five top 25s on the run. It's been a tough season, but that little stretch saved it from an awkward Q School return. Chances are he'll be happy with four days play this week before a month off.
Tue, Oct 17, 2017 06:47:00 AM

After reacquainting himself with Golf Club Milano in 2016 after a 10-year gap, Mikko Ilonen will hope to make more of an impression in this year's Italian Open.

The Finn first played the layout at Parco Reale di Monza in 2006, finishing T57 in a Challenge Tour event there. He could only deliver something similar on his return in last year's Italian Open when T53 although round scores of 70-69-70-69 could be a nice foundation for this week. Ilonen has been in consistent form over the summer and posted 8-17-5-25-20 in a five-tournament stretch before settling for T47 in last week's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. However, he did shoot a pair of 67s in his middle two rounds in Scotland so there's nothing to suggest he won't do well again this week if he can find a few more birdies at GC Milano. Despite his recent consistency, the five-time European Tour winner is only 102nd on the Race to Dubai so has plenty of incentive to push on.
Wed, Oct 11, 2017 06:03:00 AM

Mikko Ilonen will seek to crack the top ten for the first time in 16 tries when he tees it up in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship this week.

The Finn's record in the event is far from being poor, but it's not what you might expect given his quality and decent ability at links golf. He's 11-for-15, with five top 30s but a best of only T18, although that did come 12 months ago with closing 67s. For some reason the riddle that is The Old Course, St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns seems to have foiled him. Currently outside the top 100 on the Race to Dubai he needs something good to happen in the next few weeks and it threatened to in the British Masters (T7 at halfway), but his T20 was a fifth top 25 on the trot. Briefly led the Scottish Open after a round one 65.
Wed, Oct 4, 2017 04:24:00 AM

Mikko Ilonen had a wild ride around Close House's par 70 in round two, eventually returning a 2-under-par 34-34=68 to slot in at T7 going into the final 36 holes at the British Masters in England.

The Finn is at 8-under 132, four shots behind leader Tyrrell Hatton. He actually parred the first six holes today before his scorecard turned into a riot of color. The first deviation from par was bogey-5 at 15 but he followed that with four red numbers in the next five holes (16, 17, 1 and 2). He gave two of those shots back with double bogey-6 at 3 but got them back again in one go with eagle-3 at 6. To top off a highly eventful second nine, he closed bogey-birdie-bogey. All this after he'd handed in a bogey-free 64 in round one.
Fri, Sep 29, 2017 03:24:00 PM

Mikko Ilonen crafted a bogey-free 6-under-par 33-31=64 in round one of the British Masters, good enough for a share of the clubhouse lead with the morning wave complete at Close House in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

The Finn is tied first with compatriot Mikko Korhonen, Spain's Alvaro Quiros and local man Chris Hanson, his playing partner today. Hanson took the eye on the front nine as Ilonen made seven pars and birdies at 5 and 9 but after the turn it was the Scandinavian star who came on strong and finished 3-3-3 to join the lead. Those back nine birdies came at 11, 13, 16 and 17. Ilonen has been prominent in recent weeks with form of 8-17-5-25. His top 25 at the KLM Open also saw him shoot the European Tour's 1000th hole-in-one. The last of his four European Tour wins came on English soil when he landed the 2014 Volvo World Match Play Championship at the London Golf Club in Kent.
Thu, Sep 28, 2017 09:15:00 AM

Mikko Ilonen made history at the KLM Open Friday morning, draining his tee-shot at the 122-yard par-3 14th to register the 1000th hole-in-one in European Tour history.

Ilonen's ace was the 32nd of this season and comes 44 years on from the first made by Englishman Cyril Pennington in 1973. Of those 1,000, Miguel Angel Jimenez holds the record with 10. Ilonen's hole-in-one on his fifth hole of the round along with birdies at 17 and 1 helped him pull to within one of the lead. However, he eventually had to settle for a 2-under-par 33-36=69 to finish three behind.
Fri, Sep 15, 2017 06:52:00 AM

Mikko Ilonen thrashed a final round 6-under-par 33-31=64 to finish solo fifth on 10-under 270 in the Omega European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre GC.

The result is further proof that the Finn has turned his season around, being not only his highest finish of the season, but also making it back-to-back strokeplay top tens (after T8 at the European Open). It is also a career best finish at the Swiss venue (and his fifth top 20 finish there). He made early strides with front nine birdies at 5 and 7, then added another straight after the turn at No. 10. A bogey followed at the 12th, but then he raced for home. An eagle-3 at the 15th left him 5-under for that hole alone in the week and a brace of red numbers at 17 and 18 confirmed the top five finish. He made up over 20 places on the leaderboard with his final day charge, but was never a threat for the lead.
Sun, Sep 10, 2017 11:03:00 AM

Mikko Ilonen has conquered the greens at Crans-sur-Sierre GC in the past, can he do so again in this week’s Omega European Masters?

When he missed the cut in the Irish Open the Finn was staring a dreadful season in the face, but there have been signs of life since. He opened the Scottish Open with a 65 to lead before finishing T58. Two weeks later he closed the European Open with another 65 to peg T8, a first top 30 of the campaign. He only managed one win in the Paul Lawrie Match Play but he’ll have a bit of hope returning to Crans. However it’s likely to be dependent on his opening lap. Four times he’s gone sub-70 on Thursday and three times he then recorded T12 or better; seven times he has needed at least 72 swings, only once did he recover (T7 in 2005); otherwise he was outside the top 25 by week’s end. He topped the Putting Average stats last year and second in 2007.
Tue, Sep 5, 2017 08:59:00 AM

Mikko Ilonen crushed Matthieu Pavon 8-and-7 in round one of the Paul Lawrie Match Play at Golf Resort Bad Griesbach in Bavaria.

The Finn, winner of the 2014 Volvo World Match Play Championship, was in scintillating form on day one of the tournament in Germany. He opened proceedings with three straight birdies from the first tee and the Frenchman couldn’t live with the pace. The fourth was shared with par-3s but Ilonen was soon back in the red with a birdie-3 at the next. The punch-drunk Pavon conceded the sixth to a par before once more halving a short hole, the seventh. But again Ilonen won three on the bounce at 8, 9 and 10 (two birdie-4s plus a par-4 that beat Pavon’s bogey). For a third and final time they halved a par-3 but it was far too little, far too late for poor Pavon. Ilonen (6-under through 11 holes) will face the winner of Marcel Siem-Julien Quesne first round tie.
Thu, Aug 17, 2017 11:07:00 AM