Mikko Ilonen cruised to a three shot victory at the Nordea Masters, winning his first European Tour title for six years at Bro Hof Slott.
The 33 year old, whose two previous victories came in 2007, the latter in this event, started the day two clear and an imposing display meant the gap was not closed, despite a hugely impressive 12 under weekend total from FJ Apparel Ambassador Bernd Wiesberger (FJ Sport & StaSof)
After turning in 34, Ilonen (FJ ICON & StaSof) then birdied the 11th from 12 feet, before his only set-back with a three-putt bogey at the long 12th. A sublime chip to three feet at the next quickly atoned for that error, and there were no dramas over the closing stretch.
A three under par 69 ensured a 21 under total and three shot victory margin for the Finn.
“It’s pretty special. I could feel a lot of support from Finland, especially today," said Ilonen,
Asked about his bogey at the 12th, he added: “I just got ahead of myself with the first putt. I’ve said for weeks now it doesn’t really bother me if I make a bogey because I know I can make it up and it was the first time I went for the 13th in two.”
Ilonen had been a runner-up in Morocco before finishing second to Brett Rumford in China already this season, and was pleased with the way he dealt with those disappointments.
“To bounce back this soon is really good,” he continued. “It’s really satisfying, but the show I saw in China - I didn’t lose the tournament, Brett won it, so hats off to him."
“Obviously I’ve been waiting for this moment for a few weeks now. People have been expecting me to win but most of all I’ve been expecting myself to win, so to pull it off here after those second places is very satisfying.
Last week’s winner Matteo Manassero (DryJoys Tour & StaSof) put in another admirable performance finishing tied fourth. The Italian carded an ill-timed double bogey on the 18th green on Saturday, however, which left him with too much to do in his final round.
Shoe Count:FJ - 63%Nearest Comp - 20%Glove Count:FJ - 48%Nearest Comp - 19%
Italy's Matteo Manassero became the youngest ever winner of the BMW PGA Championship as he claimed his fourth European Tour title at the age of 20 on the fourth hole of a sudden-death play-off at the magical Wentworth club.
It what was a testing week due to the ever changing weather conditions, the Italian (DryJoys Tour and StaSof) held strong scoring 4, 5, 4, and 4 in the play-off to take the title.
Overnight leader Alejandro Cañizares (Contour and SciFlex) missed from 18 feet on the last for an eagle to join the play-off and Lee Westwood (FJ ICON and StaSof) held a two shot lead after birdies on the second, third and fourth, but the Worksop born professional couldn’t keep his momentum playing the back nine and he finished equal ninth.
Manassero who looked very comfortable on the range at the start of the week shot rounds of 69, 71, 69 and 69 – a total of 10 under par and at the age 20 years and 37 days, beats the previous record of Bernard Gallacher, who was 20 years and 97 days when he won in 1969.
"I feel unbelievable, really emotional," The Italian announced after his dramatic win.
"It's been an amazing week. I have always felt something really special about this place and this tournament. Everything has come together this week. I managed to play well and managed to stay in contention after a tough day on Friday and pulled it off with this play-off."
"I am the happiest man in the world right now."
Shoe Count:FJ - 55%Nearest Comp. - 21%
FJ Loyalist Michael Hoey shot a final-round 65 to win the Hassan Trophy in Morocco by three shots.
Hoey (FJ ICON #52005) began the final round two behind the leader, but three birdies inside the last five holes ensured Hoey took home the title.Hoey’s
three shot victory lifts him inside the top 15 on The Race to Dubai and
puts him back in the hunt for a Ryder Cup debut later this year.
The winner of last year's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, had
begun with an opening-round 74 but a 67, followed by successive 65s,
gave the 33-year-old his fourth European Tour victory.
"It's amazing," said Hoey. "It's a great golf course, and the weather has been great the last two days. "I
knew it was going be tough and I thought it would be tighter at the
end, but I was happy to see my last approach land on the 18th green. On
his chances of qualifying for the European Ryder Cup team, he added: "I
haven't really been thinking about it but I'm in contention now.
Elsewhere Fellow FJ wearer Jamie Donaldson carded a course record 61 -
11 under par - to finish in a tie for third, a further shot back. He was joined on 13 under by fellow FJ ambassador Phillip Price. FJ Sport and StaSof
wearer Matteo Manassero, who needed to win in order to qualify for the
Masters in April, was in contention at the beginning of the final round,
but had to settle for a tie for sixth
Hoey is now second in The Ryder Cup qualifying campaign, and his
€250,000 first prize moves him to €316,798 in The Race to Dubai.
Italian teenager Matteo Manassero made his professional debut at last week’s BMW Italian Open on the PGA European Tour as FootJoy's newest brand ambassador. Matteo turned professional earlier last week after a brief but decorated amateur career that included a win at last year’s British Amateur Championship as well as low amateur honors at the 2009 Open Championship and 2010 Masters Tournament. Having just recently celebrated his 17th birthday, Matteo established himself as the youngest player to record a victory at the British Amateur and to compete and make the 36-hole cut at the Masters.
In addition to a full bag of Titleist equipment, Matteo will be wearing FJ ICON golf shoes and a StaSof glove.