Mikko Ilonen wins Irish Open at Fota Island

Last updated 14:52 24/06/2014

Relevant offers

Golf

Jason Day rockets into world No 1 contention after blowout at The Barclays New Zealand golfer Danny Lee locked in tight battle for final President's Cup place American golfer Brian Harman hits two holes-in-one in final round at The Barclays New Zealand golfer Ryan Fox stumbles late to tie for 27th at Czech Masters Kiwi golfer Danny Lee retains lofty PGA Tour playoff position with even-par round American John Daly taken to hospital after collapsing on golf course in Mississippi Danny Lee slips down leaderboard at The Barclays after one-over par round Kiwi golfer Danny Lee stays handy at FedEx Cup series opener in New Jersey 'Birdie machine' Danny Lee poised for Presidents Cup call-up Kiwi golfer Danny Lee makes strong start in FedEx Cup series opener in New Jersey

Mikko Ilonen celebrated his 300th European Tour event with a one-shot victory at the Irish Open at the Fota Island Resort on Sunday, and revealed he had been inspired by Martin Kaymer's US Open win.

The Finn led the Cork event from start to finish, hitting a then course-record 64 in his first round on Thursday, before carding a final round one-under 70 and a win from Italian Edoardo Molinari (67).

Ilonen's occupation of the top of the leaderboard for every day of the tournament was reminiscent of Kaymer at Pinehurst's No.2 course a week ago and the Finn said he followed the German's second major victory with keen interest.

"It was very much Martin Kaymer-inspired win," Ilonen said. "I sent a message to him last week that I really enjoyed watching golf.

"I very rarely enjoy watching golf; I would rather play golf, but Martin's win inspired me. It was nice to keep that lead all the way."

The 34-year-old started the day with a one-shot lead and birdies on the second and fourth helped him to keep the challengers at bay to win his fourth European title.

"I made sure that I paced myself well and I'm not too quick with things and keep my head up no matter what happens, and I kept on doing the same thing all the time, tried to hit the fairway," Ilonen added.

"I looked back on the 18th green and I couldn't believe how many people there were. It was a very humble moment."

Englishman Danny Willet (71) bettered Ilonen's course record with a third-round 63 on Saturday, including a hole-in-one, but could only finish in a share of third with compatriot Matthew Baldwin (69) and Kristoffer Broberg (69) of Sweden, two shots adrift of Ilonen.

Large crowds in Cork had hoped to cheer home-favourite Graeme McDowell to his first professional win in Ireland after watching his compatriot Rory McIlroy miss the cut on Friday, but McDowell could only manage a tied sixth place finish with a closing 71.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

If she is able to, when do you expect Lydia Ko to win her first major?

Next year, she's so close

She's still working towards it, within three years

It may be longer than we think, within five years

The expectation might be too much, maybe never

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content