Finland’s Mikko Ilonen fired a 7-under 65 to take the Day One lead at the Scottish Open on Thursday. It was a total turnaround for Ilonen, who has missed four straight cuts prior to this week.
The men two strokes behind Ilonen are a fascinating bunch that include American Rickie Fowler, three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington, and the UK’s Ian Poulter.
Ilonen turned in a flawless round of seven birdies without a bogey, going 5-under on the front nine alone. Harrington, always a favorite in the UK, was 5-under through 11 holes before hitting two bogeys on 12 and 15 to finish at 5-under.
Poulter looked like he might be sitting atop the leaderboard at the end of the day when he eagled No. 14 to reach 7-under. But he fell back to earth with bogeys on 15 and 16 to slip back to the tie for second.
Fowler, now considered by many the best player without a Major win, turned in a very tidy card with three birdies in a row on the front nine and two more back to back on the back nine.