Born: December 28, 1979
Height: 6 ft 2 in
Turned Pro: 2001
Mikko Ilonen is the most successful professional golfer in Finnish history. In a country better known for excelling in winter Olympic sports, Ilonen has risen into the top 75 of the Official World Golf Rankings after turning professional in 2001.
Ilonen had a solid amateur career topped off by his win in The Amateur Championship at Royal Liverpool in 2000. He turned pro in 2001 and the highlight of his season was a tie for 9th at the Open Championship.
After several seasons of grinding out a decent living, Ilonen broke through in 2009. He won the Indonesian Open and became the first Finn to win a European Tour event. He finished that year in 34th place on the European Order of Merit.
Ilonen added an additional win in 2014 at the Irish Open, going wire to wire that week to defeat Edorado Molinari by a signle stroke. Later that season, Ilonen recorded his highest finish in a Major to date – a tie for 7th at the PGA Championship. In the fall of that season, Ilonen got his biggest win to date, at the Volvo World Match Play Championship at the London Golf Club in Kent, England.
The World Match Play, which began in 1964, has a long history of producing great champions, including Ernie Els who has won 7 titles and the late Seve Ballesteros who won 5 championships. Ilonen defeated a heavily favored Henrik Stenson in the finals 3 and 1.
Ilonen has risen to 75th in the Official World Golf Rankings. He and his wife Kati reside in Finland and are the parents of two small children.