The record eight-time US national champion had dropped games in both the previous rounds – and did so in the final as Pett, the fourth seed who made the final against expectations after beating South African Clinton Leeuw in the semis, opened a one-game lead.
Pett raced to a 6-2 lead in the second, but favourite Illingworth battled back to draw level before maintaining the upper hand in the next two games to close out the match 6-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-6 in 59 minutes.
The victory marks Illingworth’s 12th successive match win after claiming the titles at the Northern Ontario Championship in April and the BH Open in Brazil earlier this month. In winning his eighth title on the PSA Tour, Illingworth also becomes the first US Nash Cup champion.
“The Nash Cup is the largest (size) trophy that Illingworth has won to date on the tour, and we wish him the best of luck this season,” said tournament director Dave Morrish. “We look forward to having him back to defend his title next year!
“Jay Nash ended the presentation ceremony by announcing that not only will we be having a WSA event next year, but also that we will be upping our “purse” to $15k next year!
“What a great end to an unbelievable week,” concluded Morrish.