Linn Grant: Swedish golf’s rising star hopes history-making win will be watershed moment for women’s game
As Lynn Grant left the course at Halmstad Golf Club in Tylosand, Sweden, she found herself mobbed by a group of young fans.
Shouting for anything and everything in the Swede’s golf bag, they enthusiastically waved pens in hopes of getting an autograph. Donate regularly, signing everything from hats to golf balls.
It was a buzz worthy of a historic achievement: Grant had just become the first female winner on the DP World Tour with her victory in the Scandinavian mixed event on June 12.
And as if making history wasn’t enough, he did so in impressive fashion, cruising through a 156-player field. A weekend-best eight-under 64 on the final day confirmed an emphatic victory, with Grant’s 24-under par putting her nine shots clear of runner-up Mark Warren and fellow Swede Henrik Stenson, and 14 shots clear of the next female player. Away, Gabriella Cowley.
The victory was made sweeter by the fact that it was a victory at home – in every sense of the word. Cooperating with boyfriend Pontus Samuelsson, friends and family in a happy Swedish crowd.
“The atmosphere there, I could feel it,” Grant told CNN Sport. “I felt it was only because I came from there, but after sitting in the car on the way home, I saw social media calls, journalists arriving – everything increased … it’s a little crazy. ”
Minji Lee’s victory at the US Women’s Open a week ago saw the Australian scoop $1.8 million, the biggest payout in women’s golf history. Yet Lee’s unprecedented earnings fell short of the record-breaking $3.15 million taken home by England’s Matt Fitzpatrick for winning the men’s event just one week later.
With her historic victory in the global spotlight, Grant is optimistic that her success will help take the women’s game another step forward.
“I think a lot of people can relate to women’s golf,” perhaps even more than the men’s game, she said, because “they [men] Hit so far and the courses are not long enough. ”
“I hope it has some impact that people can look at it and see that we’re a group of players who are so good, hit the ball far enough, hit it close enough, Holds putts and scores well.
“I hope more people realize it. And then we look better and we’re nicer too! ” Grant added with a laugh.
Turned just 23 a week after the win, the victory in Helmstad marked the latest peak in what has been a huge surge for Grant since turning professional in 2021.
Three wins in four months on the Ladies European Tour (LET) have helped Rocket Grant to second in the rankings in The Race to Costa del Sol, a 28-tournament LET season leading up to the Andalusia Costa del Sol Open de España. A winner is set to be crowned. In November. Incredibly, she leads the chasing pack despite playing the fewest events of any of the top nine scoring players on tour.
While some players struggle with the jump from amateur to professional, Grant has thrived.
“My last year as an amateur, whenever I got out of the realm of being able to win, it was almost like it wasn’t motivated anymore,” Grant said.
“The feeling that I’m playing for money now—that this is my life—suddenly, I feel like it doesn’t matter. [dropping out of the zone]. If I can birdie that last time I can still make more than if I don’t.”
Grant’s best player in The Race to the Costa del Sol is childhood friend Maja Stark. Swedish national teammates and students from the same high school, the two have a close relationship from an early age.
“I always cheer for 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 what you’re going through and to be able to talk about things that other people either can’t get their heads around or don’t understand.”
Not that their friendship has stopped Grant declaring his desire to chase down and beat Stark to Spain as one of his main season goals.
The Race to the Costa del Sol summit with Johanna Gustavsson running behind Grant, an all-Swedish trio reflects the Nordic country’s dominance on the LET and golf’s rising stock in Sweden, which has already has spawned a legend in
In Annika Sorenstam, Grant has a wonderful role model. Sorenstam, co-founder of the Scandinavian Mixed Event, had one of the greatest careers in women’s golf history with 10 major wins and 72 LPGA tournament wins before her professional retirement in 2008.
Grant cites two reasons for the recent surge of top female players in the country: the Swedish Golf Federation’s investment and efforts to grow the game and, ironically, the harsh Nordic climate.
As snowy conditions cut short the golfing season in the country, Swedish players must work extra hard to maximize training, with Grant putting the “lost” practice time into other activities that will help his game. , such as Jim.
“We can’t play 12 months a year, which gives you a bit of a thick skin,” he explained. “It’s zero degrees, you just have to go out there and hit the wedge or whatever you need to practice.”
With her historic victory in the Scandinavian mixed event, it appears that attitude is paying off – and helping Grant in her mission to grow the sport and act as a role model, not only for women, but For all who play the game.
“If this win can help someone or give someone a little extra motivation, I’m happy,” he said.