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Mikko Ilonen

Team: PGA Golfer
Age / DOB:  (37) / 12/18/1979
Ht / Wt:  6'2" / 183

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Mikko Ilonen will hope course vibes overcome form worries when he tees it up at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam in this week’s Trophee Hassan II.
The Finn’s 2017 season has comprised nothing more than a four week spell in the Middle East followed by Malaysia, during which he went 1-for-4, only cashing in at the Dubai Desert Classic (T32). However there are plenty of reasons to think he’ll exit the funk this week. He finished T7-T17-T3 at Golf du Palais Royal, the tournament’s previous home. He was T3 on the Red Course in 2010 and T37 last year. He was T7 after 54 holes of the Irish Open on another RTJ Sr course (Adare Manor) in 2008 and has form on RTJ Sr’s Celtic Manor layouts too (T6 at Roman Road, T3 at Wentwood Hills). Apr 11 - 9:53 AM

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Mikko Ilonen was thwarted in extra holes at the 2014 Commercial Bank Qatar Masters; he will want to go one better at the Doha GC this week.

The Finn entered the final round two years ago T6, but a final round 66 matched Sergio Garcia's total and the two headed into a play-off which saw the Spaniard prevail, but it is far from Ilonen only good week in Qatar. That said, his first eight visits were poor, with only four weekends made and a best of T35. But then something clicked and he has since pegged T9-2-MC-T13. If the course vibes are good the form is a bit of an enigma. He opened the season with a MC in Abu Dhabi after closing 2016 with a run of 15-for-16 which included nine top 25s but with a best of only T10 in the Turkish Airlines Open.
Jan 24 - 4:24 AM

Mikko Ilonen has missed four of his last five cuts in the UBS Hong Kong Open but returns to Fanling to try his luck again this year.

On debut in 2002, the Finn opened 69-65-64 but slid from 12th after 54 holes to T40. That early promise has proved to be misleading with Ilonen failing to cash in 2004, 2009, 2012 and 2015. The only other cut he made was via T42 in 2008. There seems no obvious reason why he doesn't have the skill-sets for the course and three top 10s and a further pair of top 20s from his last 10 starts in China suggests it's a part of the world he can play well in. This is Ilonen's first start of the 2017 Race to Dubai after he finished 58th on the previous one. He was in the money in 18 of his 26 starts but managed just a single top 10.
Tue, Dec 6, 2016 06:22:00 AM

Mikko Ilonen gets a third start in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Estates in Dubai this week.

The Finn did just enough to make the 60-man field after qualifying 58th on the Race to Dubai. His previous start at the European Tour’s season closer resulted in T55 in 2014 although he did crack the top 20 when T19 on debut in 2013. Ilonen also has some good ‘desert’ form via T5 at the 2014 Dubai Desert Classic, an event where he closed 67-68 to finish T16 earlier this year. That’s one of 11 top 20s he’s compiled this season although only one of those is a top 10. At least it (T10) came in the Turkish Airlines Open two weeks ago so his form is decent even though he could only follow it with T53 in last week’s Nedbank Golf Challenge.
Tue, Nov 15, 2016 06:45:00 PM

Mikko Ilonen is rounding into some useful form ahead of the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa.

The Finn, who sits 55th on the Race to Dubai, has connected three top 20s ahead of his return to Gary Player Country Club, improving his position each time. That peaked with T10 in the Turkish Airlines Open last week where he recovered from an opening 74 which left him 71st of the 72-man field. Ilonen has racked up eight top 25s in his last 10 starts so has been one of the most consistent players around although he's struggled to land the big cheque. He's played Gary Player Country Club just once, firing 10-over to end 28th out of 30.
Tue, Nov 8, 2016 06:45:00 PM

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.
Thu, Oct 13, 2016 08:24:00 AM

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.
Wed, Oct 5, 2016 03:14:00 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.
Sat, Sep 3, 2016 12:04:00 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.
Tue, Aug 30, 2016 12:25:00 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.
Sat, Aug 13, 2016 01:50:00 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.
Thu, Aug 4, 2016 11:38:00 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.
Fri, Jul 1, 2016 08:41:00 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.
Wed, Jun 22, 2016 05:11:00 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.
Fri, Jun 3, 2016 07:35:00 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.
Thu, Jun 2, 2016 12:21:00 PM