Stenson, Ilonen to contest Match Play final

Tournament favourite Henrik Stenson will go up against Mikko Ilonen in the final of the Volvo World Match Play Championship on Sunday after winning their morning semi-finals.

AFP| Last Updated: Oct 19, 2014, 18:04 PM IST
Stenson, Ilonen to contest Match Play final

London: Tournament favourite Henrik Stenson will go up against Mikko Ilonen in the final of the Volvo World Match Play Championship on Sunday after winning their morning semi-finals.

Stenson, the world number five from Sweden defeated George Coetzee of South Africa at the last while Finn Ilonen saw off the previously unbeaten Joost Luiten of the Netherlands 2 and 1.

Top seed Stenson was two down early on to Coetzee, who only got into the tournament as a late replacement for the injured Thomas Bjorn.

But as he did in the quarter-finals on Saturday against Jonas Blixt, the Ryder Cup player turned on the heat down the back nine going four under for the last six holes.

He levelled the tie with a long putt at the 15th and after Coetzee`s putt from the edge of the 18th green missed narrowly, Stenson sunk an 18-footer for birdie and the win.

"I had to dig deep out there," the Swede said.

"The key moment was the eagle putt on 15 to get back to all square.

"It was a tough day out there. I didn`t play my best and was two down early on."

Ilonen, who won the Irish Open during the summer, was two up after seven holes against Luiten, but made a mess of the par-three eighth to reach the turn with the slimmest of leads.

Luiten bounced back again to take the lead for the first time at the 13th, but it was back to all-square after the Dutchman three-putted the next.

Ilonen looked to be in trouble at the 15th but a superb chip and putt saw him take the lead and he finished it off at the 17th when another long range effort tipped in from the side.

"That could have easily gone either way," the Finn said.

"Neither of us played our best. I was able to make two putts at the end and that was the difference."