EVIAN-LES-BAINS, FRANCE, May 21, 2022: Tiia Koivisto of Finland triumphed in a play-off to win her first LET title in the Jabra Ladies Open presented by Bitstamp.
Playing in the penultimate group, the 28-year-old from Mantsala fired a final round of five-under-par 66 to set the clubhouse target at Evian Resort Golf Club in France.
Australian Whitney Hillier carded a 69 to join her on six-under-par after 54 holes, forcing a play-off down the iconic par-5 18th hole.
Fellow Finnish LET player Sanna Nuutinen joined Koivisto to act as her caddie for the play-off, returning the favour after Koivisto caddied for her when she won on the LET Access Series.
At the first extra hole, Koivisto split the fairway with her drive and then struck a 5-iron into the rough left of the green from 165 metres, before chipping to two metres and rolling in a straight putt for birdie.
“It feels amazing,” said Koivisto, a third year LET member who won the LET Access Series Order of Merit in 2020. “I actually made one of my first LET starts here in Evian and now I’ve won it, so I just can’t believe it.”
The win was also her first cut made in five appearances in the event.
“I’ve been putting so well the whole week and today I was hitting some good shots so I got the job done. “I was checking the scores on 16 and before I hit my second shot on 18, so I knew I had to make a birdie there and I went for it. “Sanna (Nuutinen) was caddying for me on the play-off hole and she’s one of my best friends so it was great to have her on the bag to make me more relaxed. We talked through all the shots. I knew that if I made a good stroke on the last putt I could do it, and when it went in, it felt so good.”
With her victory, worth €37,500, Koivisto earned a place in the field for The Amundi Evian Championship, which will be her first appearance in a major. She also moved into fifth place on the LET’s Race to Costa del Sol Rankings.
“I guess I can be roommates with Sanna again at The Amundi Evian Championship, because we were rooming together this week after a long break. It will be awesome to play in my first Major,” she said.
This was Koivisto’s second professional victory after the 2020 Amundi Czech Ladies Challenge on the LET Access Series.
While Hillier finished in second place, Leonie Harm and Johanna Gustavsson tied for third position on three-under-par.
Pia Babnik, the defending champion, also fired a 66 and tied for fifth place with Carmen Alonso on two-under-par.
Image: Tiia Koivisto.