Date: August 20, 2007

Topsy-turvy run for Strange

Australian Scott Strange&aposs roller-coaster Scandinavian Masters continued on the final day when he shot a one-over-par 71 to finish tied for 12th behind Finn Mikko Ilonen in Stockholm on Sunday. Strange, who started the tournament in a blaze of glory with a six-under-par 64 then undid all his good work with a 75 on the second day, began the final round five shots off the pace but cost himself any chance of victory with double bogies on the third and 13th. Strange and New Zealander Steve Alker, who will be ruing his costly first round, were the best-placed Australasians in 12th on one-under, five shots behind Ilonen, who claimed his second European Tour victory of the year in dramatic fashion. For the second day in a row, Alker carded a two-under-par 68 and had it not been for an opening round of 74, he could have been close enough to apply pressure on Ilonen turning for home on Sunday. Ilonen, who won the Indonesia Open in February, birdied the par-three 18th hole at Arlandastad to join Martin Kaymer on six-under par as the young German looked on from the tee. Kaymer then missed the green with his approach and was unable to save par, his weak chip failing to climb the steep slope up to the green and rolling halfway back down. The resulting double bogey five dropped him back into a share of second place on four-under with French pair Jean-Baptiste Gonnet and Christian Cevaer, local favourite Peter Hedblom and Englishman Nick Dougherty. Ilonen looked to have blown his chances when he double bogeyed the par-three 16th after finding water with his tee shot. But the 2000 British amateur champion shrugged off missing a short birdie putt on the next to hole from five feet on the 18th for a closing 68 and it was Kaymer who eventually cracked under the pressure. “It&aposs an unbelievable feeling,” said Ilonen. “If I had to pick one tournament to win, alongside the majors, it would be this one. “You all saw the support we get from the crowds, it&aposs something we don&apost get every week and I hope some other tournaments can learn from this. It&aposs unbelievable for the players to be out there.” Result from the Scandinavian Masters (par 70) -6 Mikko Ilonen 67 72 67 68 -4 Christian Cevaer 69 69 69 69, Nick Dougherty 68 69 69 70, Jean-Baptiste Gonnet 67 70 71 68, Peter Hedblom 68 71 68 69, Martin Kaymer 67 68 68 73 -3 Paul Broadhurst 69 73 64 71, James Kingston 68 68 67 74, Corey Pavin 70 70 70 67 -2 Mattias Eliasson 69 72 68 69, David Higgins 69 69 71 69 Also: -1 Steve Alker (New Zealand) 74 69 68 68, Scott Strange (Australia) 64 75 69 71 +3 Andrew Tampion (Australia) 72 70 67 74 +4 Brett Rumford (Australia) 72 71 71 70 +6 Wade Ormsby (Australia) 69 73 75 69 +7 Terry Pilkadaris (Australia) 74 69 73 71 +9 David Bransdon (Australia) 71 67 76 75