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Mikko Ilonen leads into final round of Nordea Masters seeking to end six-year wait for third European title

Updated: Saturday, 01 Jun 2013 17:10 | Comments

Italy's Matteo Manassero (l) and and Finland's Mikko Ilonen (r) walk to the third hole
Italy's Matteo Manassero (l) and and Finland's Mikko Ilonen (r) walk to the third hole

Finland's Mikko Ilonen moved to the top of the Nordea Masters leaderboard with a seven-under-par round of 65 as overnight leader Matteo Manassero slipped to third in Stockholm.

Ilonen carded five birdies and an eagle to move two strokes clear of Sweden's Alexander Noren in second place, while BMW PGA Championship winner Manassero could only manage a one-under-par round of 71 to leave him tied for third with Jonas Blixt four shots off the pace.

Ilonen was a runner-up in China and Morocco recently and started the day two behind Manassero.

However, he pulled a shot back early on with a birdie on the second hole with a 12 foot putt before further gains at the sixth and ninth edged him ahead of the Italian, who turned in a level par on the front nine after a birdie on the ninth cancelled out a bogey fifth.

Ilonen would end his six-year wait for a third European Tour title if he manages to stay out in front after tomorrow's final round.

Damien McGrane shot a four-under-par 68 to move up to eight under and a share of 15th, while Alan Dunbar, from Northern Ireland, shot a 75 to leave him on level par over all and back in 67th.

Noren, who won the event in 2011, holed an incredible 80 foot putt on the fourth to claim one of his seven birdies in a round which also saw him claim an eagle on the ninth.

Earlier Bernd Wiesberger powered up the leaderboard with an eight-under-par round of 64 to finish the day in three-way tie for sixth with Thomas Bjorn and Joost Luiten, one stroke behind Rikard Karlberg who was fifth on 12 under par.

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