International Golf News 11th Aug, 2021 by ukclubgolfer.co.uk
“It’s very special,” said Koivisto. “Golfing wise, it was probably the best week of my life. For my wife, our wedding, obviously, was the best week of my life.
“They called me up on short notice and asked me if I could fly to Northern Ireland and I said yes, I’m going to take any opportunity I can get. I was mostly playing mini tour stuff in the States, some Monday qualifiers and I taught for three years.
“I think my mentality was good this week. I was really relaxed, not really caring and in terms of expectations I was just hitting golf shots and having fun. I had a blast this week on the course. I didn’t really worry too much about the results.”
The Minnesotan showed the calmness of an experienced winner coming down the stretch at Galgorm Castle and he highlighted the birdie at the 15th hole as a pivotal moment.
“I think the birdie I made on 15 was huge,” he said. “Just because I had seen a lot of putts burn the edge or my pace was a little weird. That went in the side door then and I thought to myself ‘yeah, I’m going to get this done now’. I hit three really good tee shots coming down the stretch and that was very special.
“That scene on the 18th green was special, and it was nice to see my name on the top of the leaderboard. All the hard work you put in, it’s nice to see it pay off and get to the next level.”
Johannessen posted the joint-low round of the day with a five under par 65 to secure solo second place, one stroke clear of Jens Fahrbring, who also posted 65, and England’s Andrew Wilson who shared third place on ten-under. Sweden’s Björn Hellgren and Iceland’s Gudmundur Kristjansson made up the top five, sharing fifth place one shot back.
Local favourite JR Galbraith finished best of the 16 Irish who started the week after the Whitehead professional closed with an eventful level par 70 to finish inside the top 20 (tied 19th) on four-under.
“It was an unbelievable day, very up and down. I felt like I played so much better than what I got out of the round,” said Galbraith. “I lost a ball off the first tee and didn’t think it was that far offline. I then made a great birdie at the next when I hit the flag with my wedge. Overall, it was a very positive week.”