banner

Golf

Ilonen tops Stenson for World Match Play title



Kent, England (SportsNetwork.com) - No. 10 seed Mikko Ilonen held the lead throughout most of the championship match against No. 1 Henrik Stenson on Sunday and the 34-year-old from Finland emerged as the winner of the Volvo World Match Play Championship.

Ilonen, who now has five wins on the European Tour and two on the season after winning the Irish Open in June, only trailed Stenson for one hole. Ilonen defeated No. 7 Joost Luiten 2 & 1 in the semifinals earlier on Sunday, while Stenson narrowly topped No. 16 George Coetzee 1-up to advance to the championship.

"I see Henrik as one of the world's top players obviously, but I see him as my friend," Ilonen said. "He didn't intimidate me at all. We've played so much golf together over the years, so I felt quite comfortable playing with him. It could have gone either way really. I had a better afternoon than he did. Tomorrow morning we play, it might go the other way."

In the consolation match, Luiten escaped with a 1-up victory over Coetzee in 19 holes. Luiten only lost one match all week.

After defeating the previously unbeaten Luiten in the semifinals, Ilonen took to the course once again looking to take down the No. 1 seed and the No. 5 player in the world in Stenson.

The duo halved the first three holes before Stenson took the early 1-up lead with a birdie on the par-3 fourth hole. Ilonen responded right away with a par on No. 5 to square the match and Stenson never led again.

After they halved the next two holes, Ilonen took his first lead with a birdie on No. 8 and he never let go. Following two more halves, Ilonen rattled off two more wins with a birdie on 11 and a par on 12, giving him a 3-up lead.

Stenson got one hole back with a birdie on 13, but Ilonen came right back with a birdie on 14. Stenson got back to 2-down with another birdie on 15, but he could not come through on the final three holes. After halving 16, Ilonen birdied No. 17 to clinch a 3 & 1 victory.

"I actually exceeded my expectations for the week for sure already," Stenson said. "And already when Jonas took me to the 18th yesterday, I felt like we were running low on energy, and against Joost this morning, same thing. "So I don't know where I found that energy to finish that much off in the morning. So I was quite low on energy in the afternoon."

Luiten never trailed in his match against Coetzee, but it was back-and-forth all day. Coetzee tripped to a double-bogey at the first and Luiten took a 1-up lead. Coetzee got the match squared with a win on two, but Luiten won two holes in a row at three and four to go 2-up.

Coetzee and Luiten traded wins on five and six, with Coetzee winning No. 5. After a halve on seven, Coetzee got back to 1-down with a par on eight, but Luiten came back with a par on nine to get back to 2-up.

Luiten's lead quickly went away, however, as Coetzee won Nos. 11 and 13 to square the match again. After that, the duo halved the next five holes, forcing an extra hole. Luiten went on to win the 19th to take third place.

NOTES: Luiten won all three of his matches during the group stage and did not lose until his match against Ilonen ... With the win, Ilonen earned 375,000 euros ... The European Tour heads to Australia next week for the ISPS Handa Perth International, which is the last event before the Final Series.

10/19 13:41:36 ET

Other Stories

PGA Golfers with Triangle Ties

PGA Triangle golfers

Search Local Courses

Golf Leaderboard

Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
Oct 16 - Oct 19, 2014
Sunday's final round (complete)
As of Oct 20, 2014, at 07:27 AM ET
Player Score Hole
Ben Martin -20 F
Kevin Streelman -18 F
Russell Knox -16 F
Webb Simpson -15 F
Jimmy Walker -15 F
Brooks Koepka -15 F
David Hearn -14 F
Tony Finau -14 F
Scott Piercy -14 F
Brandt Snedeker -13 F
TV
  • World Series: Kansas City vs. San Francisco

    Tomorrow at 7:30 pm on FOX50

Scoreboard
Local
Final
GBP 38
CAR 17
Final
CHI 101
CHA 96
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
CHA
 
Final
BRK 90
BOS 95
Final
OKC 94
MIN 112
Final
CHI 101
CHA 96
Final
HOU 90
GSW 83
Final
LAL 98
UTA 91
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
CHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
NOP
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
CHA
 
7:30pm Tonight
NYK
MIL
 
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
PHI
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
MEM
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
SAC
 
Final
LOS 2
MIN 1
Final
NYR 4
SJS 0
Final
WIN 1
CAL 4
Final
ANA 3
STL 0
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
TAM
 
Final
BAL 29
ATL 7
Final
GBP 38
CAR 17
Final
IND 27
CIN 0
Final
JAC 24
CLE 6
Final
CHI 14
MIA 27
Final
BUF 17
MIN 16
Final
DET 24
NOS 23
Final
STL 28
SEA 26
Final
WAS 19
TEN 17
Final
SDC 20
KAN 23
Final
OAK 13
ARI 24
Final
DAL 31
NYG 21
Final
DEN 42
SFX 17
8:30pm Tonight
PIT
HOU