Finland's Mikko Ilonen struggled in his fourth round at the European PGA Tour's Scandinavian Masters in Stokholm Sunday, but still was able to hold on to win the tournament at 8-under-par.
Ilonen fired a final round 68 to finish two strokes ahead of France's Christian Cevaer
"It's an unbelievable feeling," Ilonen EuropeanTour.com. "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's something we don't get every week and I hope some other tournaments can learn from this. It's unbelievable for the players to be out there."
In many ways, Ilonen's win came down to the wire.
He carded six birdies on the day, but they were slightly offset by two bogeys and a near-disasterous double-bogey on the par-3 16th.
Ilonen reached the 18th tee at 5-under-par, one shot back of German Martin Kaymer, who was playing a group behind him.
Ilonen stuck his four iron approach to five feet from the pin and made birdie on No. 18. Kaymer's subsequent approach missed the green and he was unable to save par after blading his chip shot. Kaymer made double-bogey.
It was Ilonen's second win on the European PGA Tour this year, after prevailing in the Enjoy Jakarta Astro Indonesia Open in February.
A large group were tied for second at 4-under, including Kaymer, Cevaer, England's Nick Dougherty, France's Jean-Baptiste Gonnet and local favorite Peter Hedblom of Sweden.
Ilonen's win catapulted him to 27th on the European Tour Order of Merit.
Two Americans made the cut in Stokholm. Corey Pavin finished tied for 7th at 3-under-par, while Jeff Sluman tied for 43rd at 5-over-par.
August 20, 2007
With stellar play on the back nine at Royal Birkdale, Padraig Harrington shot a 69 in the final round to earn a four-shot victory and become Europe's first back-to-back British Open champion in more than a century. He earned nearly $1.5 million and climbed to No. 3 in the world rankings. "I'm really thrilled with the way I felt today on the golf course," Harrington said. "I hit the ball as pure as I could and just felt really good."
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