Linn Grant cruises at Dana Open for first LPGA Tour title

Linn Grant of Sweden acknowledges the gallery at the 9th green during the final round of the Dana Open at Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania, Ohio USA, on Sunday, July 16, 2023.

Linn Grant won her first LPGA Tour event Sunday.

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When Linn Grant earned her LPGA Tour card at the end of 2021, it seemed like more of a “when” than an “if” she would get her first LPGA Tour title.

But it turns out, the issue was more “if” she could play than anything else.

While being unable to compete in U.S. LPGA Tour events due to U.S. COVID vaccination requirements for non-citizens until this May, Grant made the most of it. She played in just six international events, earning enough points to keep her card by finishing in the top 8 of four of them.

Grant also took up Ladies European Tour membership and won a stunning four times, even dominating men in the DP World Tour co-sanctioned Scandinavian Mixed.

But Sunday, she got her first win on women’s golf’s biggest stage.

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Entering the day lead with a six-shot lead over last week’s U.S. Women’s Open champion Allisen Corpuz, Grant posted a final-round 68 to finish at 21 under and win the Dana Open by three.

“I’ve imagined this day so many times in so many ways in my own mind,” Grant told CBS after the win. “Being here now, I’m so speechless, at the same time, I feel familiar with the setting for some reason.”

Remarkably, the win is already the 24-year-old Swede’s ninth as a professional, combining her wins on the LET, Sunshine Ladies Tour and LET Access events all won since graduating from Arizona State in 2021. She already had added to her LET win total earlier this year by winning the Jabra Ladies Open in May.

When the U.S.’s public health emergency expired that same month, she hit the ground running in her first U.S. LPGA events as a member. She finished third at the Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play and T20 at the KPGA Women’s PGA Championship.

Her breakthrough came in just her fourth stateside start in 2023.

She built her lead on Saturday by flirting with 59 in the third round, playing her final five holes in even par to shoot 62.

Corpuz, fresh off a breakthrough title of her own at Pebble Beach a week ago, closed the gap on Grant with four birdies in her final five holes to shoot 65 to post 18 under.

“[Starting with the big lead], I could have been a bit more relaxed, but I also knew this course is very scoreable,” Grant said. “So in my mind, I was just thinking that someone was going to shoot the same score I did yesterday.”

Grant played steady all day, making four birdies against one bogey to close out the three-stroke victory. Her only blunder may have been flying her second to the green on the par-5 18th accidentally while the penultimate group was still putting.

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