County Cork, Republic of Ireland (SportsNetwork.com) - Mikko Ilonen shot a 3- under 68 Friday, which was good enough to keep him in the lead by two strokes after the second round of the Irish Open.
Ilonen, of Finland, entered the second round with a 2-shot lead, and after another strong performance he currently sits at 10-under 132 after 36 holes on the Deerpark Course at Fota Island Resort.
Ilonen is looking for his fourth win on the European Tour and first since winning at the Nordea Masters last year.
Ilonen's lead was threatened by France's Romain Wattel (65), but Ilonen birdied the 18th hole, while Wattel made bogey on the same hole to drop into a three-way tie for second place at 8-under 134 with Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell and Robert Rock. Both McDowell and Rock shot 66 in the second round.
Matthew Nixon and Gareth Maybin tied Wattel for the low round of the day at 65. Nixon sits three back of the lead along with Simon Khan (66) and Marco Crespi (67), while Maybin is tied for eighth at 6-under.
Ireland's own Padraig Harrington fired a second-round 67 and is also tied with Maybin, Sihwan Kim (67) and Edoardo Molinari (69) at 6-under 136.
MORE TO FOLLOW.