Linn Grant: Swedish golf’s rising star hopes history-making win will be watershed moment for women’s game



When Linn Grant left the course of Halmstad Golf Club in Tylösand, Sweden, she was swarmed by a group of young fans.

They clamored for anything and everything in the Swede’s golf bag and excitedly waved pens in hopes of getting an autograph. Grant duly obliged, autographing everything from hats to golf balls.

It was a buzz worthy of a historic achievement: Grant had just become the first-ever female winner of the DP World Tour with her win at the Scandinavian Mixed event on June 12.

And if making history wasn’t enough, she did it in dominant fashion, crossing the field of 156 players. A weekend-best eight-under 64 on the final day cemented an emphatic victory, with Grant’s 24-under par finishing her nine shots ahead of Marc Warren and fellow Swede Henrik Stenson and 14 shots ahead of the next female player. Gabriella Cowley.

The win was made all the sweeter by the fact that it was a home win – in every sense of the word. Friend Pontus Samuelsson caddied, with friends and family supporting among an ecstatic Swedish crowd.

“The atmosphere there, I felt that,” Grant told CNN Sport. “I felt like it was just because I was from there, but when I was in the car on the way home, I saw calls on social media, journalists reaching out — everything just grew… it’s kind of insane .”

Minjee Lee’s win at the US Women’s Open a week earlier had netted Australia’s first $1.8 million, the largest payout in women’s golf history. Still, Lee’s unprecedented earnings were overshadowed by the grand record $3.15 million that England’s Matt Fitzpatrick took home for winning the men’s event just a week later.

With her historic win making headlines around the world, Grant is optimistic her success will help take the women’s game another step forward.

“I think a lot of people can identify with women’s golf,” perhaps even more so than men, she said, because “they [men] hit so far and the courses are not long enough.

“I hope it will have an effect that people will look at it and see that we are a bunch of players who are so good, hit the ball far enough, hit close enough, hold the putts and score well.

“I hope more people realize that. And then we look better and we are also nicer!” Grant added with a laugh.

Having turned just 23 a week after the win, the victory in Halmstad marked the latest high point in what has been a meteoric rise for Grant since turning professional in 2021.

Three wins in four months on the Ladies European Tour (LET) helped Grant move up to second in the standings in The Race to Costa del Sol, a 28-tournament LET season that will crown a winner on the Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España in November. Incredibly, she leads the chasing pack despite having played the fewest events of any of the top nine scoring players in the Tour.

While some players struggle with the jump from amateur to pro, Grant is thriving.

Grant is on the hunt for The Race to Costa del Sol after a string of victories.

“My senior year as an amateur, every time I fell out of the zone to be able to win, it was almost like it stopped motivating,” said Grant.

“The feeling that I’m playing for money now – that it’s my life – all of a sudden I feel like it doesn’t matter [dropping out of the zone]. If I can make a birdie on the last one, I can still make more money than if I didn’t.

The only player to beat Grant in The Race to Costa del Sol is childhood friend Maja Stark. Teammates of the Swedish national team from a young age and students at the same high school, the duo have a close bond.

“I always encourage her and I hope she does the same for me, which I know she does,” Grant said.

“It’s nice to have someone there who knows the situation you’re in and to be able to talk to about things other people don’t understand or just don’t understand.”

Strong putts at the Scandinavian Mixed.

Not that their friendship has stopped Grant from declaring the desire to chase and defeat Stark to Spain as one of her main season goals.

With Johanna Gustavsson behind Grant, an all-Swedish trio at the top of The Race to Costa del Sol reflects the Scandinavian country’s dominance on the LET and Sweden’s rising golf stock, which has already spawned a legend in the sport.

In Annika Sorenstam, Grant has a towering role model. Sorenstam, co-founder of the Scandinavian Mixed event, built one of the greatest careers in women’s golf history with 10 major triumphs and 72 LPGA tournament wins before retiring in 2008.

Grant receives the Scandanavian Mixed trophy from tournament organizers Annika Sorenstam and Henrik Stenson.

Grant cites two reasons for the recent spate of top female players in the country: the Swedish Golf Federation’s investment and efforts to grow the game and, paradoxically, the harsh Nordic climate.

With snow shortening the country’s golf season, Swedish players have to work extra hard to maximize training, with Grant spending “lost” practice time on other activities that will help her game, such as the gym.

“We can’t play 12 months a year, that gives you a bit of a thick skin,” she explained. “It’s zero degrees. You just have to go out and hit wedges or whatever you need to practice on.”

With her historic win in the Scandinavian Mixed event, it looks like that attitude is paying off – helping Grant in her mission to grow the sport and serve as a role model not just for women but for everyone who plays the game.

“If that win can help someone or just give someone a little extra motivation, I’m happy,” she said.

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