Finland’s Mikko Ilonen played a solid closing round of 69 to win the Nordea Masters at Bro Hof Slott Golf Club by three shots from Sweden’s Jonas Blixt.

The Finn began the final day two clear of Alex Noren of Sweden and quickly doubled that advantage with birdies at the second and third holes.

Ilonen wasn’t really threatened through the final round, and another birdie at the 11th kept the chasing pack at bay. He stumbled slightly with three putts at the 12th but bounced straight back with a fine pitch at the following hole.

From there he cruised in and claimed his first European Tour victory in six years.

“It’s pretty special,” said Ilonen. “I could feel a lot of support from Finland, especially today.”

“Obviously I’ve been waiting for this moment for a few weeks now,” continued Ilonen, who was a runner-up in both Morocco and China. “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.”

In the end it was another Swede, Jonas Blixt, who proved to be Ilonen’s closest challenger. The PGA Tour regular closed with a 68 to claim second spot on his own. He got within two of the lead when he eagled the ninth, but a bogey at the 11th and a double at the 14th put paid to his chances of victory.

“I’m pretty happy about the way I played this week,” said Blixt. “I didn’t win but I made a good run at it so that’s what I’m happy about.”

Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger climbed the leaderboard with a closing 66. He finished alone in third.

Former champ Alex Noren couldn’t get it going through the final round. He closed with a 72 to finish in a tie for fourth with fellow Swede Rikard Karlberg, last week’s winner Matteo Manassero and Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn.

Nordea Masters
Bro Hof Slott GC, Stockholm, Sweden
May 30 – Jun 2, purse €1,500,000 par 72

1   Mikko Ilonen (Fin)   70   63   65   69   267   €250,000
2   Jonas Blixt (Swe)      70   66   66   68   270   €166,660

3   Bernd Wiesberger (Aut)   69   72   64   66   271   €93,900
T4   Thomas Bjorn (Den)   70   67   68   67   272   €59,025
T4   Rikard Karlberg (Swe)   69   68   67   68   272   €59,025
T4   Matteo Manassero (Ita)   66   65   71   70   272   €59,025
T4   Alex Noren (Swe)      67   69   64   72   272   €59,025
8   Ross Fisher (Eng)      72   67   70   64   273   €37,500
T9   Felipe Aguilar (Chi)   71   67   70   66   274   €31,800
T9   Julien Quesne (Fra)   73   67   66   68   274   €31,800

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

Where next?
PGA Tour –
Kuchar wins Memorial