Irish Open: Mikko Ilonen earns fourth European Tour success

Mikko Ilonen took his fourth European Tour success
Ilonen's win was his fourth European Tour success

Finland's Mikko Ilonen secured his fourth European Tour success by winning the Irish Open at Fota Island in Cork.

The 34-year-old led the tournament from start to finish and ended up one shot clear of Italian Edoardo Molinari.

Ilonen began the final day well, with birdies at the second and fourth holes, and then salvaged a bogey at the 18th to post a 70 for a 13 under par total.

Graeme McDowell missed a succession of birdie chances and fired a 71 to finish in a tie for sixth on 10 under.

Graeme McDowell rued a number of missed birdie opportunities as he ended the Irish Open in a tie for sixth.

McDowell was unable to capitalise on early opportunities to put pressure on the leader at the par-five fourth and fifth holes.

A birdie three at the sixth had the Irish crowd cheering but a bogey at the 15th finally put paid to the 2010 US Open champion's chances.

"That was one of the worst putting weekends of my career - there were a lot of birdies to be made out there, but I just couldn't get the ball in the hole," McDowell admitted.

Ilonen enjoyed a two-shot advantage coming to the last, but a wayward tee shot left him to struggle to a bogey six, reducing his lead to a single shot.

Molinari carded a 67 to move to 12 under and clinch one of the three qualification places on offer for next month's Open Championship at Hoylake.

Swede Kristoffer Broberg and English duo Matthew Baldwin and Danny Willett shared third place on 11 under, with the latter two claiming the other Open spots on offer.

Marcel Siem was one of two players to post a 65 in the final round
Marcel Siem was one of two players to post a 65 in the final round

Their compatriot, Ross Fisher, produced an impressive charge to emerge as the early clubhouse leader, with a 65 leaving him nine under.

Fisher recorded seven birdies and a solitary bogey in his first 13 holes, but five consecutive pars ended his challenge.

Among the other players on nine under was Northern Ireland's Michael Hoey, who signed for a 66, to the delight of the 29,387 fans who watched the final-day action.

A fourth-round 69 left Padraig Harrington eight under, along with Gareth Maybin, who had looked likely to contend for the title following a promising start to his round.

The Ballyclare man birdied the first and sixth but faltered with bogeys at the eighth, 12th and 15th, before recovering with a birdie at 16 to shoot a 71.

German Marcel Siem shot 65 to equal the best round of the day and join the group on eight under, while a 68 left Matthew Fitzpatrick joint 29th on five under in his first tournament as a professional.

Defending champion Paul Casey ended four under following a 73, with Darren Clarke one over after a 72.