Mikko Korhonen defeats Benjamin Hebert in playoff to win Volvo China Open

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Mikko Korhonen defeats Benjamin Hebert in playoff to win Volvo China Open

Euro Tour

Mikko Korhonen defeats Benjamin Hebert in playoff to win Volvo China Open

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Mikko Korhonen is one third of the way to becoming Finland’s most successful golfer after winning the $3.4 million Volvo China Open. The Helsinki native earned his second European Tour title when he defeated France’s Benjamin Hebert at the first hole of a sudden death playoff.

Korhonen birdied the first extra hole after he and Hebert finished tied on 268, 20-under. It is Korhonen’s second victory following last year’s Shot Clock Masters. He is just three wins behind Mikko Ilonen, Finland’s most successful golfer.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Korhonen said. “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. I made a birdie on 17 and gave myself a chance to win it on 18 but I didn’t manage to do that.”

LEADERBOARD: Volvo China Open

Korhonen stood on the 17th tee in a three-way tie for the lead with Hebert and former Indiana standout Jorge Campillo, winner of last week’s Trophée Hassan II. Korhonen edged ahead with a birdie, while Hebert followed him with a birdie on the final hole.

“I was happy to get into the play-off,” Korhonen said. “It was my first time in a play-off and I had nothing to lose. I just had to make birdie. 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 victory earns the Finn a place in the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black next week. His check for approximately $500,000 moves him to 17th on the European money list from 98th.

Hebert was looking for his first European Tour win after six European Challenge Tour victories.

“It has been a good week,” Hebert said. “I’m happy though, finishing second. I missed the wedding of one of my cousins this week, so it was very important for me to have a good week here.

“Looking at the way I played, I’m happy. Mikko played great today and he didn’t make any mistakes and putted well.”

The Frenchman’s consolation is a check for $332,000 to move to 25th on the European order of merit.

Campillo couldn’t find a birdie over the final two holes to join the playoff. The former Big Ten Golfer of the Year has now finished in the top three in five of his last six appearances. He took home $187,000 to move to second on the European points list.

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