A wonderful weekend of European Tour golf came to a close on Sunday afternoon when Finland’s Mikko Ilonen claimed his fourth European Tour title in the Irish Open at Fota Island Golf Resort in Ireland. The Finn carded a final round of 70 to finish 13 under par, one shot ahead of Italy’s Edoardo Molinari, with Sweden’s Kristoffer Broberg and English duo Danny Willett and Matthew Baldwin a further shot back in third place.

The finish completed a glorious five days at Fota Island with some of the European Tour’s top golfers on show competing for crucial Ryder Cup points and to gain some form ahead of the British Open at Hoylake near Liverpool next month. The Deerpark course proved to be the perfect challenge for the talented field with Ireland’s Graeme McDowell and Padraig Harrington, in particular, giving the home crowds plenty to cheer over the weekend.

Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell had had high hopes of claiming his first professional victory on home soil in front of over 100,000 spectators throughout the four day event at the Cork venue, however, he had to settle for a closing 71 and a share of sixth place with Magnus A Carlsson, his first top-10 finish in 13 appearances in the event.  Michael Hoey finished on -9 par after a closing on 66 while Gareth Maybin was a shot back after a closing 71. Pádraig Harrington finished on -8 after shooting 69 and Peter Lawrie ended the tournament on four under par after also carding final round 69.

The resort was picture perfect with the fairways in prime condition and green proving a stiff challenge to the golfers thanks to the hard work of Con O’Driscoll, course superintendent at Fota Island Resort, and his excellent green keeping team at the luxury golf hotel in Cork. The resort welcomed many golf fans from around Munster, Ireland and abroad enjoying golf breaks in Cork over the course of the week, breaking the record for a European Tour event by almost 11,000. The five star Ireland resort proved to be immensely popular with visitors with facilities such as the luxury Cork spa and high quality selection of fine dining restaurants in Cork.

The Irish Open was not the only event to take centre stage at the golf resort, with newlyweds Eimear and James Cross tying the knot at the luxury wedding venue in Cork on Friday. The colourful backdrop created at the 18th green provided a truly unique atmosphere for the pair who revelled in the attention reserved for the likes of McDowell, Harrington and McIlroy.

2014 Irish Open winner Ilonen at Fota Island Resort