Bubba Watson came back on the back nine and eliminated Mikko Ilonen from Finland on Wednesday afternoon at the Accenture Match Play Championship. Bubba looked flat early on after his win at the Northern Trust Open on Sunday, but played flawless golf down the stretch for the 2 & 1 victory in the Sam Snead Division.
Bubba actually got up by two but the 34 year-old Fin put a nice string together in the middle of the front nine. Bubba bogeyed the par three sixth hole and the match went All Square. Ilonen grabbed the lead at seven when Bubba missed another putt.
After making the match all square again at eight, Ilonen rolled in a birdie at nine and made the turn up one. Bubba went on a birdie run at the thirteenth hole and the Fin could not keep pace. The match went All Square again at the 14th hole, but Bubba birdied 15 and 17 to put the match away and move on.
If you are not familiar with Mikko Ilonen, he is from Lahti, Finland, and plays primarily on the European Tour. He is currently ranked 57th in OWGR, and is 14th on the Race To Dubai list. He has had a couple of nice finishes early in 2014 at the Qatar Masters and the Omega Dubai Desert Classic where he finished in second place and T 5 respectfully.
Bubba will face Jonas Blixt in the second round. Blixt, an 11 seed in the Sam Sneed Division, eliminated the six seeded Keegan Bradley 2 & 1 to move on.