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Ilonen wins Irish Open
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 23 - 06 - 2014

COUNTY CORK, Ireland — Mikko Ilonen celebrated his 300th European Tour appearance with a 13-under-par victory at the Irish Open at the Fota Island Resort here Sunday.
The Finn led the European Tour event from start to finish, establishing a good lead with a then course-record 64 in his first round Thursday.
He carded a final round one-under 70 to finish with a 271 total and beat Italian Edoardo Molinari by a single shot.
The 34-year-old started the day with a one-shot lead and birdies on the second and fourth helped him keep the challengers at bay to win his third tour title.
Englishman Danny Willet bettered Ilonen's course record with a third-round 63, including a hole-in-one, but could only finish third with compatriot Matthew Baldwin and Kristoffer Broberg of Sweden, two shots adrift of Ilonen.
Wie and Yang share lead
American Michelle Wie recovered from a dire four-hole stretch to claw back into a tie for the lead with South Korean Amy Yang after the third round at the US Women's Open in Pinehurst, North Carolina, Saturday.
On a day when veteran Juli Inkster charged into equal third place, moving her within striking distance to make history by becoming the oldest Women's Open champion, Wie frittered away a chance to take a stranglehold on the championship.
She dropped four shots in four holes from the par-four 11th but settled down to par home for a two-over-par 72 at Pinehurst No. 2.
Yang shot a 68 to catch Wie at two-under 208, four strokes clear of American Inkster (66), Northern Ireland's Stephanie Meadow (69), South Korean Choi Na Yeon (71) and Australian amateur Minjee Lee (72).
Yang, who has one LPGA victory, got up-and-down from greenside bunkers to save par at the 16th and 17th holes, only to bogey the last after misjudging her approach shot and taking three putts from short of the green.
But the day belonged to two-time champion Inkster, whose 66 was the best round of the week.
Aged nearly 54, she could become the oldest Open champion by more than 10 years, but is trying not to think about it.
Inkster played her first Women's Open in 1978, more than 11 years before Wie and Yang were born.
While Inkster moved up, fellow American Lexi Thompson, winner of the first major of the year, backpedalled with a 74 to fall five shots behind.
Moore leads Travelers
American Ryan Moore made an unlikely eagle from a cart path on his way to a one-stroke lead after the third round at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut Saturday.
The three-time PGA Tour winner used the fortunate break to set the stage for a bogey free four-under-par 66 in delightful conditions at the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell.
He posted a 13-under 197 total, while Australian Aaron Baddeley notched a 65 to move into second place on 12-under.
It is anything but a two-man race, with Spaniard Sergio Garcia, South Korean K.J. Choi and Americans Scott Langley and Michael Putnam two shots behind in the PGA Tour event formerly known at the Greater Hartford Open.
Moore, 31, is a former US Amateur champion who has compiled a solid professional career without quite living up to the expectations of greatness that some expected.
Baddeley is another former young phenom who won the 1999 Australian Open as an amateur before successfully defending as a professional the following year.
He moved into the hunt for his fourth tour title, less than a year after being mired in such a slump that he barely kept his tour card.
World No. 8 Garcia made his move with four birdies in the final eight holes to card a 65. – Agencies


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