Wednesday, 27 February 2019
Kalle Samooja  (Getty Images)
Kalle Samooja (Getty Images)

Ahead of the 2019 Vierumäki Finnish Challenge, we take a look at the Finnish stars who shone on home soil last year.

In the tenth edition of the event, 20 Finns entered the tournament, including 13 national invites and three amateurs. Following Kim Koivu’s strong start to the season where he clinched his first European Challenge Tour title in China, there was a sense of expectation from the home fans for the young star to deliver – he did not disappoint.

Koivu beat Robert MacIntyre in the play-off to become the first Finn to win the country’s biggest golf tournament. However, it was not just Koivu who shone in front of the home crowd, as the top five included two more Finnish players; Antti Ahokas in fourth place and Kalle Samooja in tied fifth.

At the halfway stage of the event, four Finnish players were lining up their weekend assault to become the first homegrown winner of the tournament. With 18 holes to play, Koivu shared the lead but Ahokas was only one stroke behind while Samooja was a further two shots back.

Koivu and MacIntyre ran away with the lead on the final day with the Belt & Road Colourful Yunnan Open champion recording rounds of 70-65-66-66 before birdieing the first play-off hole to take the title. Ahokas finished five shots behind following rounds of 69-67-66-70 with Samooja made it three Finns in the top five after his rounds of 66-71-67-69.

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