A life-changing victory: Koivisto wins Northern Ireland Open to move into top-500 in the world

By BRAD SALMEN

Sports Editor

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.

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