ASH, England (AP) — Mikko Ilonen defeated top-seeded Henrik Stenson 3 and 1 in the final Sunday to win the World Match Play Championship.
Ilonen fought back from being 1 down after four holes against the fifth-ranked Swede on the London Club course at Ash in Kent. It was the 34-year-old Finn’s fifth European Tour victory and his second this season after winning the Irish Open.
Earlier Sunday, Ilonen ended Joost Luiten’s unbeaten run by beating the Dutchman 2 and 1 in the semifinals, while Stenson won 1 up at the last hole against George Coetzee of South Africa.
“While I didn’t play so well this morning, I didn’t make any mistakes this afternoon against Henrik,” said Ilonen. “(I) felt like I had a good chance to beat him and I did.”
Three years ago Ilonen’s career was in chaos, having sustained an ankle injury that required surgery and kept him out of the second half of the 2011 season.
However, after falling to 334th in the world rankings early in 2012, Ilonen has continued to improve. He finished 23rd on the money list last year.