Mikko Korhonen captured his second European Tour title with a playoff victory over Benjamin Hebert at the Volvo China Open.
The 38-year old Finn entered Sunday’s finale at Genzon Golf Club three shots back of overnight leader Hebert.
But after Korhonen produced a 6-under 66, to Hebert’s 69, the two were deadlocked at 20 under par, and it was on to a playoff – where the Finn ended it quickly, making an 11 foot birdie on the first overtime hole.
Korhonen, who won his maiden pro title on his 256th start at last season’s Shot Clock Masters, now owns two victories in his last 22 starts, and will move into the top 100 on the Official World Golf Ranking.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” said Korhonen, who finished third in the field in greens-hit with 84.7%. “I don’t know how I did it but it’s probably the putter that was my winning formula this week. I made lots of putts from outside 15-20 feet this week.
“Winning a golf tournament is never easy. It was a battle all day as everyone was making putts and I had to stay patient and do the same.
“It’s great to have this second win in the bag and I’m delighted.”
The scorching-hot Jorge Campillo shot a final-day 67 to finish solo third on 19-under par. It was the Spaniard’s fifth top-3 finish in his last six starts (3-1-3-20-2-2). Native son Haotong Li was alone in fourth after a birdie-birdie finish gave him a second-straight 66 and four-day total of 16-under par.
Rounding out the top 5 in Shenzhen, China was a fivesome led by a another home favorite in Ashun Wu, who carded a 70 to reach 15 under.
American David Lipsky (66), Englishman Jordan Smith (67), and a pair of Frenchmen, Romain Langasque (67) and Mike Lorenzo-Vera (64), were the other names in the T5 group.
2019 Volvo China Open
Final Leaderboard: Top 5
Pos-Player-To Par (Final Rd)
1. Mikko Korhonen -20 (-6)*
2. Benjamin Hebert -20 (-3)
2. Jorge Campillo -19 (-5)
4. Haotong Li -16 (-6)
5. Mike Lorenzo-Vera -15 (-8)
5. David Lipsky -15 (-6)
5. Romain Langasque -15 (-5)
5. Jordan Smith -15 (-5)
5. Ashun Wu -15 (-2)
*Won in a playoff
Mikko’s Positioning: Early Rounds
1. Jorge Campillo -7
1. David Lipsky -7
1. Tapio Pulkkanen -7
15. Mikko Korhonen -4
Pos-Player-To Par (Rd Score)
1. Ashun Wu -13 (-7)
11. Mikko Korhonen -7 (-3)
1. Benjamin Hebert -17 (-8)
2. Mikko Korhonen -14 (-7)
Stat-Player-Number (Tournament Finish)
Driving: Min Woo Lee – 323.5 yards (T14)
Fairways: Adilson da Silva – 52/56, 92.9% (T11)
Greens: Jordan Smith – 65/72, 90.3% (T5)
Putts/GIR: Mike Lorenza-Vera – 1.551 (T5)
Stat-Number (Stat Finish)
Driving: 274.5 yards (51st)
Fairways: 45/56, 80.4% (17th)
Greens: 61/72, 84.7% (3rd)
Putts/GIR: 1.621 (10th)
“It was my first playoff which is a new situation for me. I just went out and tried to make birdie.”
– Mikko Korhonen, Volvo China Open Champion
Video: The Game Winner
Credit: European Tour Media, Getty Images