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After 18 seasons and 398 starts, Mikko Ilonen has announced his retirement from professional golf.
The 39-year-old Finn revealed the surprise news in a post on Facebook, confessing that he has spent the last few months “debating with myself if that competitive Mikko still exists”.
“After looking at it from all the possible angles, I’ve come to a conclusion to end my playing career,” he added. “I’m confident that it is the right decision. And the time is right. I wanna pursue some of my other dreams and goals in life.
“I’m extremely grateful to my family, friends, partners, coaches, managers and the fans for their support. There’s many ups and downs I’ve shared with many wonderful people around me through out my career.”
Ilonen turned professional in 2001 and, in 2007, won the first of his five European Tour titles at the Indonesia Open. He also won the Scandinavian Masters twice (2007 and 2013), the Irish Open (2014) and the Volvo World Match Play Championship (2014).
He played in 14 major championships, with a best finish of tied seventh in the 2014 US PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club.
Ilonen also represented the Continent of Europe in two editions of the Seve Trophy (2007 and 2013) and played for Finland in the World Cup in both 2007 and 2018.
He had a best finish of 18th on the European Tour Order of Merit, hit a career high of 37th on the Official World Golf Ranking in October 2014, and made €7,771,441 in European Tour career earnings.
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