Grant Becomes 1st Female Golfer To Win On European Tour

Linn Grant

By STEVE DOUGLAS, Associated Press

A female player has won an event on the European tour for the first time.

Linn Grant made history in amazing style, too.

The 22-year-old Swede obliterated a field of both male and female golfers at the Scandinavian Mixed event, winning by nine strokes after an 8-under 64 in the final round at Halmstad Golf Club.

Remarkably, she finished 14 strokes clear of the next best woman, Gabriella Cowley, who placed tied for 15th.

“I just hope people recognize women's golf more now,” Grant said, “that more sponsors go to the LET (Ladies European Tour) than to the men's tour, and hopefully this pumps up the women's game a little bit more.”

Grant started the day with a two-stroke lead and steadily built up her advantage by making birdie at five of her first six holes, demonstrating the brilliant ball-striking and calm temperament she has displayed in southern Sweden.

She first took a nine-stroke lead after tapping in for birdie at the par-5 11th hole and regained it with her eighth and final birdie of the round at another par 5, the 14th. She completed a bogey-free weekend.

It is the second staging of a tournament that started with 78 men and 78 women in the field, playing the same course — albeit off different tees — for one prize fund and one trophy.

Grant said her main aim was to beat the men.

“That was the most important thing — the whole week, I just felt it was girls against the guys,” she said.

Grant's grandfather, James, was a Scottish golf professional who emigrated from Inverness in northern Scotland to Helsingborg in Sweden. Her father, John, played on the Swedish Golf Tour, too, and has seven wins on the Swedish Senior Tour.

Grant turned professional last year and won events on the Ladies European Tour in March and May, marking her out as a star in the making. In an on-course interview on the front nine, Grant said having those two wins under her belt made her feel calm going into the biggest round of her life.

Her boyfriend, Pontus, was her caddie and her mother was at the course and among those cheering Grant onto each green on a day of changing weather.

Swedish great Henrik Stenson, who hosted the event with compatriot Annika Sorenstam, shot 70 and was tied for second place with Marc Warren (65).

Sorenstam, one of the greatest female golfers ever, embraced Grant beside the 18th green after victory was sealed.

Grant won 30,000 euros ($31,500) when winning in Belgium last month. She received more than 10 times that on Sunday.