Ilonen seizes early initiative

5/2/2013 3:36:22 AM
Mikko Ilonen   (Getty Images)
Mikko Ilonen (Getty Images)
Finland’s Mikko Ilonen made a fine start to the Volvo China Open to share the lead with local favourite Bin Yan on the opening morning.

The two-time European Tour winner had birdies at the first, second, sixth and seventh to be four under through seven holes at Binhai Lake Golf Club.

That was the same mark as Yan, who birdied four of his first five holes in a remarkable start to his European Tour career.

Two players to have already won on the 2013 Race to Dubai – Scott Jamieson and Kiradech Aphibarnrat – were joined by England’s Lee Slattery and Korea’s Park Sang-hyun on three under in the early stages.

The European Tour’s new youngest player, 12 year old Ye Wo-cheng, was four over through 12 holes, but 16 year old Dou Ze-cheng was two under after 13 holes.

Defending champion Branden Grace was among the afternoon starters.