Date: June 03, 2013
Author: Omnisport

Ilonen ends six-year trophy wait

Mikko Ilonen broke a six-year victory drought with a three-shot win at the Nordea Masters in Sweden on Sunday. The Finn carded a three-under 69 on the tournament&aposs final day at the Bro Hof Slott Golf Club, enough to give him a relatively comfortable triumph over local Jonas Blixt. Austrian Bernd Wiesberger completed an excellent weekend with a final-day 66, which allowed him to finish a shot behind Blixt in third. Ilonen set up his win with excellent rounds of 63 and 65 on Friday and Saturday, as he posted his first European Tour win since triumphing at the same event in 2007. “It&aposs pretty special. I could feel a lot of support from Finland, especially today,” an elated Ilonen said after the day&aposs play. The 33-year-old has come close to breaking his drought on two occasions this season, finishing as joint runner-up in Morocco in March before Australian Brett Rumford edged him in China in May. And Ilonen was pleased to have responded so quickly to those potentially damaging setbacks, and finally claim a tournament victory. “To bounce back this soon is really good,” he said. “It&aposs really satisfying, but the show I saw in China – I didn&apost lose the tournament, Brett won it, so hats off to him.” Ilonen hit four birdies in his round, quickly recovering from a bogey on the par five 12th hole, as he cruised to victory with an overall score of 21-under. Blixt had a mixed day, shooting six birdies, one eagle, two bogeys and one double-bogey. He was never in a consistent rhythm and was made to rue his double-bogey on the 13th hole, which saw him lose vital ground on Ilonen. Wiesberger hit seven birdies in a six-under 66, as he finished in outright third at 17 under, while a group of players were tied for fourth, a further shot adrift. Italian Matteo Manassero, who won the BMW PGA Championship last week, was joined by Swedes Alexander Noren and Rikard Karlberg and Denmark&aposs Thomas Bjorn at 16 under. Englishman Ross Fisher was eighth at 15 under, while Chilean Felipe Aguilar and Frenchman Julien Quesne tied for ninth, one shot back.