4 May 2013

Finn Ilonen soars to three-shot lead at China Open

6:52 am on 4 May 2013

A relaxed Mikko Ilonen of Finland brightened his chances of ending a six-year trophy drought on the European Tour with a sizzling nine under par 63, which gave him a three-shot cushion at the halfway stage of the China Open.

Ilonen's spotless round took him to a two-day total of 12 under at the $3.5 million event, co-sanctioned with OneAsia, with two recent winners - Australian Brett Rumford and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat - chasing him on nine-under.

The record-breaking 12-year-old Chinese prodigy Ye Wo-cheng shot a second successive 79 to miss the cut.

The Auckland golfer Michael Hendry recovered with a five under 67 to make the cut while the Wellington pair of Mark Brown and Gareth Paddison both missed out, Brown by one shot after his 70 but Paddison well off with a second straight 75.