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Euro Tour. Nordea Masters. Mikko Makes It His Trophy

Mikko Ilonen made the European Tour Nordea Masters his trophy with a last round -3 under par 69 for a total score of -21 under par.

Mikko Ilonen  (Getty Images)

Mikko Ilonen / Getty Images

Mikko, from Finland, claimed his first win for six years at the Nordea Masters on the Bros Hof Slott Golf Course in Sweden. He actually won this event in 2007, and said it was special to it again, apart from the bogey at the 12th hole;

“It’s pretty special, I could feel a lot of support from Finland, especially today. 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. To bounce back this soon is really good, 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. It’s been a long time since I won but I haven’t forgotten how it felt. In life there are ups and downs and I’ve found a better balance now. Life is good, my family is good and golf is alright, so I can’t complain.”

Local boy Jonas Blixt. who plays most of his golf on the US PGA Tour where he won last year,  took second place. He was three shots back at -18 under par, a last round effort of -4 under par, 68, just not quite enough for him to get first place for Sweden;

“I’m pretty happy about the way I played this week, I didn’t win but I made a good run at it so that’s what I’m happy about. It’s been fantastic and I’m never going to forget this. It’s been nothing but amazing this week, it is cool to come home and have people screaming and cheering, and I don’t really get that in the States so much, it’s awesome.”

Austrian Bernd Wiesberger was in third place alone on -17 under par for the tournament. Italian Matteo Manassero finished in a tie for fourth place at -16 under par. He shared that score with Dane Thomas Björn and Swede, Rikard Karlberg.

 

Euro Tour. Nordea Masters. Mikko Makes A Move.

Mikko Ilonen, from Finland has made a move, on moving day, Saturday, to lead the European Tour Nordea Masters by two shots at the Bro Hof Slott Golf Course in Sweden.

Mikko Ilonen   (Getty Images)

Mikko Ilonen / Getty

Mikko shot a third round of -7 under par 65 to move to the top of the Nordea Masters leaderboard at -18 under par. He now has the chance to end his six-year wait for another Tour win, and is fully aware of the challenge in front of him. He also spoke about the luck he had with his Eagle at the 15th hole;

 It was a bit of a funny yardage for me, it was raining and I just tried to squeeze it in there and got lucky with it a bit. I need to shoot another low score and I can do it, but we’ve got eighteen holes to go and lots of other guys are still hunting me.”

Alexander Noren, a home favorite, is in second place after shooting a marvelous third round of -8 under par, 64 and is now just two shots back at -16 under par.

Alex was amazed by his putting prowess;

” I got lucky, I hit a lot of good putts and I holed a lot of them. I don’t know where it came from, amazing putting. I’ve played here a lot, I’m from an hour away, it’s the best course in Sweden and it is a beautiful place.”

A countryman of Alex, Jonas Blixt, and Italian Matteo Manassero, who had a quiet day, are tied in third place at -14 under par for the tournament.

Matteo looked to have overcome his slow start to the round when he had a hat-trick of birdies on the back nine. All that good work was undone on the 18th, going from rough to water and carding a double bogey six on the last.

Jonas fired in a bogey free round of -6 under par , 66 to give himself a chance of victory here. The crowd will be hoping one of the home boys will lift the trophy.

 

Euro Tour. Nordea Masters. Manassero Marches On.

Matteo Manassero marches on in the Nordea Masters at the Bro Hof Slott course in Sweden, leading the field by two shots at the conclusion of the second round.

Matteo Manassero   (Getty Images)

Matteo Manassero / Getty Images

Matteo shot a second round of  -7 under par 65, for a tournament total of -13 under par, and to lead the field by two shots. He carded five birdies on the back nine, just 31 shots. Matteo likes the back nine;

It was nice after the start to be able to come back and shoot another great score, so I’m glad the way the day has gone. I like that nine,  they are holes where you can gain or lose many shots, and if you can gain it’s a big gap. The conditions are absolutely perfect.”

In second place at -11 under par is Mikko Ilonen. Mikko was one of two players who completed the second in -9 under par, 63. The other golfer with a magical second round was Peter Whiteford, and his effort elevated him into third place alone with a total of -10 under par.

Peter said he had been playing well;

” I have been swinging pretty well over the past month but today was special. It was near perfect conditions and the golf course is in great shape.”

A piece of European Tour History was created when Australian Andrew Dodt became the first player ever  to have two holes-in-one in a single round. His reward, he just made the cut, on the number, and received a box of champagne from the tournament sponsors Nordea.

Andrew spoke of his achievement”

” The shot at the 11th, my second, kick-started things. I made a few more birdies in between, then a couple of bogeys and I was heading the wrong way when I got to the seventh, our 16th hole. It was an eight iron, felt a little bit heavy at the start, but right on line and it went in. I can’t get my head around it, I’m pretty proud to be the first one to do it. I had seven before today. The 11th I was pretty still and it was the perfect club for a six iron, little draw, and it was slam dunk straight in the hole. I didn’t putt very well today so I’m glad I was able to hole with a long club.”

I think it will take another magical round from someone to wrest this title from Matteo’s grip.

 

 

Euro Tour. Nordea Masters, Magical Manassero Tied For 1st Round Lead

 

Magical Matteo Manassero is in a tie for the first round lead at the European Tour, Nordea Masters, just a week after his win at Wentworth.

Matteo Manassero   (Getty Images)

Matteo Manassero / Getty Images

Matteo shot a first round of -6 under par 66 at the Nordea Masters on the Bro Hof Slott Golf Course in Sweden. He is tied at the top of the leaderboard with  Pablo Larrazábal.

Matteo said he was impressed with his unusual fast start, not showing any signs of tiredness after weeks effort:

” I’ve never started that well, it was a great start, I was making putts and to start like that was strange because I’m not used to it. I’ve been tired but I woke up and I felt good. It’s a tough course when the wind picks up so I think every afternoon is going to be hard.”

Pablo sunk a 40 foot birdie on his way to a 66;

” I played great, I was five under after ten. I made birdies on the par fives and held my score  it wasn’t easy. The golf course is playing okay this morning but you can make a double or triple bogey. I played safe when I had to and more aggressive when I could.”

The best of the scores all came from the morning session, before the wind got up. Jamie Donaldson completed a flawless 67 to sit alongside one of the home favorites, Fredrik Andersson Hed.  Chris Lloyd and Simon Wakefield matched that score and they are all in the clubhouse T3  at -5 under par.

The afternoons best score came from another home favorite, Alex Noren, the 2011 winner of this tournament. He also had a -5 under par, 67 to join the morning players at T3.

Alex stated that it was a tough front nine:

” It was a tough front nine, I hit the driver good but didn’t hit the greens I wanted. Then I made birdie on 11 and mentally it was a very nice birdie so it gave me a very nice rhythm. To the eye it looks like you can go for everything and what I’ve learned from this course is if you play a bit more conservatively on the par fives, if you’re on the green you will probably make a birdie.”

So it appears that the afternoon winds, and who manages them the best will have a good opportunity to win here in Sweden.

 

Westy Wins In Sweden @ Nordea Masters

Westwood romps to victory

Lee Westwood (Getty Images)

Lee Westwood easily won his third Nordea Masters title in Sweden, at the  Bro Hof Slott GC, cruising to a five shot cushion over his rivals. Lee had a last round of -3 under par, 69 for a tournament total of -19 under par. Nearest man to him was compatriot Ross Fisher, Ross could only muster a last round of -1 under par and finished with a total of -14 under par, alone in second place.

Although it was a steady last round Lee was not too impressed with some missed chances;

“I missed a few short putts on the front nine, had a lot of chances the first ten holes and could have really put some breathing space between me and the field. Having said that when I needed to on the back nine, when they got a bit closer and put me under a bit of pressure, I managed to make a great eagle at 12, good birdie at 15 and pull away. I hit some really solid shots. It didn’t look like I was hitting it close on the last three holes but I can tell you those last three holes I hit it exactly where I wanted to every time.”

This is first Lee’s first European Tour victory since the 2011 Ballantine’s Championship, but is his 22nd European Tour International Schedule victory in his 408th European Tour event and keeps him in third spot in the World Golf Rankings, behind Rory McIlroy and number one Luke Donald.

Ross Fisher’s brave challenge really went awry when he found water at the 13th and double bogeyed that hole. The Ryder Cup star recovered brilliantly with a hattrick of birdies from the 15th giving him a 71 and solo second place on 14 under par.

The host country, Sweden ,saw their chance winning the trophy for third time in a row disappear, when Peter Hanson ran up a double bogey seven on the back nine at the 15th, and finished his final round at -1 under par, 71. This score saw him finish in a tie for third on -13 under par with Mikko Ilonen from Finland and Sergio Garcia of Spain.

Westwood still in control in Sweden @ Nordea Masters

Westwood still in control

Lee Westwood (Getty Images)

Lee Westwood is still in control in Sweden at the Nordea Masters after the conclusion of the third round at the  Bro Hof Slott GC.  Lee retained his three shot lead after recording a -4 under par third round of 68, for a tournament total of -16 under par. The round did not reach the same classic heights as his stunning second round 64, but it did leave him three clear of fellow Englishman Ross Fisher.  Lee said in interview;

“I played well. I hit a lot of good shots and it was solid stuff. I didn’t get into too much trouble, I had a bit of a flyer on the second and that was the only bogey I made all day.”

Ross Fisher was a happy camper after his beautiful -7 under par third round of 65, and a total for the tournament of -13 under par;

 “I’ve played really nicely, I’m gradually getting better. Hopefully I can continue the trend tomorrow. I’ve gone head to head with Westy a couple of times, he’s a world-class golfer and that’s how we judge our game, against the best players in the world.”

Swedish hopes of a third consecutive home win in this event seemed to have stalled, with Peter Hanson now four shots adrift of the leader after his -3 under par third round of 69. He is the best placed Swede to make a challenge, but he will have to produce something really special to loosen Lee Westwood’s firm grip on this trophy.

Alexander Noren continued with his remarkable recovery from an opening round of 74, carding a second successive 66 to move into fifth on ten under, alongside compatriot Michael Jonzon. Six shots behind an inform Lee Westwood would really seem like an impossible task.

Westy Shines In Stockholm, @ Nordea Masters

Westwood shines in Stockholm

Lee Westwood (Getty Images)

Lee Westwood, the Worlds number three golfer, shot an amazing 2nd round score of -8 under par 64, to lead the Nordea Masters by three shots in Stockholm. That is the lowest two round total at the at Bro Hof Slott GC.  Lee started his day on the tenth tee and made the  turn in  five under par 31, then came home in 35, with a bogey 5 at the par 4  14th hole. He spoke about his liking for Sweden;

“I’ve always enjoyed coming to Sweden, obviously winning here for the first time in 1996 gave me an affinity. And then I won again in 2000 when I won the money list so I’ve had a lot of success in Sweden and it’s somewhere I enjoy coming to. I played well, I played nicely yesterday but today I played a little bit better.  I’m getting to know the course a little bit better every day and it was there for the taking this morning. There was not a lot of wind and the greens were pretty pure.  I’m putting the ball well and rolling it nicely on the greens which gives you confidence. I hit it pretty close so I gave myself a lot of chances.”

Peter Hanson, playing partner with Lee Westwood for the round, is three shots back at -9 under par for his two rounds. Peter captured this tile in 2008 and is looking to make it a Swedish hattrick after Richard S Johnson and Alex Noren won the last two stagings.

” I didn’t strike the ball as well as I would have hoped and 68 was a good result.”

Sergio Garcia was charging into contention, he had four birdies in his first 12 holes, but then found water with his second to the par five 13th hole. Having dropped a shot there, the Spaniard bogeyed the 14th as well and eventually signed for a 69 and six under total.

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