Friday, 19 March 2010
Lucas Parsons, the 29-year-old Australian is the halfway leader of the Finnish Masters in sunny Helsinki after a carding a five-under-par 67.

He is on 135, nine under, a shot clear of Denmark's Thomas Norret and two ahead of surprise package, Finnish amateur, Mikko Ilonen.

Ilonen, who won't turn 20 until December, went round in 66 with eight birdies to underline his burgeoning talent that will eventually finish in the professional ranks. But not before he completes another year at High School followed by his military service.

Ilonen is the current Finnish Amateur champion who won the West of Ireland Championship earlier this year having taken second spot in the individual competition in last year's Eisenhower Trophy.

But Parsons, winner of the Challenge de Sable in France a few weeks ago, is homing in on another title. "I played really solid and tackled the hard holes well," he said. "That's what I've been trying to do all week. There are plenty of birdies out there and that's the key."

Five players share fourth place on 138. Juan Ciola, winner of the Diners Club Austrian Open in June, Martin Erlandsson of Sweden, England's Andrew Clapp and Iain Pyman, and Erol Simsek of Germany, the joint overnight leader who slipped back with a 71.

The cut came at level-par 144 and 56 players plus two amateurs will battle out of the weekend.

Among those who failed to make it were England teenager Justin Rose, his first Challenge Tour missed cut, Argentinian Gustavo Rojas, second in the rankings, and Didier de Vooght of Belgium, another with a high ranking.

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