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May 24, 2007

Mikko Ilonen


MIKKO ILONEN: It was on the 6th, a stretch par 4 and I hit it in the bunker on the right-hand side and made a birdie from there.
I hit it really good off the tee.

Q. How has the year been?
MIKKO ILONEN: It's been nice. I would have like to play better but I've been sort of a little unlucky with my health. I've had a couple of weeks that I've been a little sick, and you know, that never really helps. Last week, I got a little bit of a wrist problem but with a good treatment from the Red Bull guys, it's been -- gone forward. Right now, every day it gets better.

Q. Are you feeling it out there at the moment at all?
MIKKO ILONEN: An odd shot here and there. But it is really better now than it was a few days ago. I had to be five days without clubs and not hitting a ball. Just gave it some treatment and much better now.

Q. Not the greatest preparation for a big week such as this, though.
MIKKO ILONEN: I actually enjoyed that. Not really expecting anything and you feel more relaxed, actually. You haven't hit that many balls, and you do it how you can. I haven't really hit any balls on the range this week. I might hit a couple today, just a few. But I won't do much with it.

Q. So is that a kind of key today then being more relaxed? Because a lot of people get nervous at an event like this.
MIKKO ILONEN: Yeah, it is a key. It is definitely a key. There's a lot of birdies out there on this golf course, if you can keep it on the fairway, which makes a huge difference on those par 5s, for example. If you hit the fairway, the fairways are running at the moment. Like on the last, you don't need to hit a driver. 17 is reachable today which is, you know, it's a pretty long haul.
All of the par 5s are reachable. If you can score on those, it's a key. I think it's a key. And I didn't do too many silly mistakes today. I just hit one bad tee shot on the second I think, the par 3. I pulled my 8-iron in the bunker but made up-and-down from there.

Q. Your second you pulled an 8-iron into the bunker?
MIKKO ILONEN: Made a good up-and-down from there. I actually hit that hole from the bunker. That was the only way to stop the ball.

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