The 2006 British Open - Mersey, Mersey Mikko! Finland's Mikko Ilonen in contention
I'll win the orange pie slice in the trivial pursuit game today.
Mikko Ilonen of Finland last contended on another Northern England course with bunkering eerily similar to Hoylake - Royal Lytham. Ilonen is so obscure here in the states, Yahoo Sports has a blank photo for a picture.
What is this, Golden Tee?
Although that's nowhere NEAR the gaffe at ESPN.com - click on the British Open leaderboard all afternoon and it sent you to the B.C. Open instead. Boy, things sure get sloppy after the ESPYs. Click on THEIR bio for Ilonen and there's nothigng, not even his home country of Finland listed. It does have his date of birth, though. So they have that going for them.
Let's see, he's a former British Amateur Champion, was 10th in the St. Omer Open (yes, you read that correctly), and leads the European Tour in least hits triggered on Google. Even the PGA page is inadequate. He tied for 9th at 5-under in the 2001 Open won by David Duval.
Anyway, he's used to links courses. He'll have to go nuts to catch the leaders and be a factor, but he and Gary Evans and Greg Owen are not nobodies - they are European Tour players with game that seems to come out best at the British Open. At least these guys overachieve at the right time.
Anyway, lets pray for a Turnberry-esque "duel in the sun" over the weekend.