Mikko Ilonen takes two-shot lead in Sweden

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.

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

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.

Noren romped to victory by seven shots two years ago, and displayed that sort of form again as he holed putts of 80 feet and 40 feet at the fourth and 16th.

Scotland’s Peter Whiteford and Wales’ Rhys Davies were in a group tied for 11th place on nine under par while Seve Benson and Ross Fisher were the highest placed Englishmen, a further two shots back.