By BRAD SALMEN
BALLYMENA, NORTHERN IRELAND – Tyler Koivisto was a last-minute addition to the Northern Ireland Open, the crown jewel in golf’s European Challenge Tour.
The term “long shot” underestimates the odds for the 2011 DC graduate – at least, for those who don’t know him.
After the Northern Ireland Open, however, the golf world now knows his name.
Koivisto seized his opportunity in a big way to win the Northern Ireland Open in true underdog fashion, shooting a 13-under 267, two strokes ahead of closest challenger Kristian Krogh Johannessen of Norway.
The win inexorably changed his life. Consider:
• Koivisto now has an automatic card for the European Challenge Tour through 2021. (The Challenge Tour is one step below the European Tour, the Europe equivalent of the PGA Tour).
• It catapulted him to sixth place in the Challenge rankings. The top 20 finishers in the Challenge Tour are granted membership in the European Tour.
• By winning the tournament, Koivisto is now ranked #495 in the entire world, ahead of such notables as Ernie Els (#514).
• And, oh yeah, he won 32,000 Euros ($38,803).
“It’s been a crazy week. I’m just trying to process everything,” said Koivisto. “I’m a long way from the Cokato Town & Country Club.”
Check out Friday’s Enterprise Dispatch for the full story.