Sweden’s Linn Grant has reason to smile after collecting her first victory on the LPGA. NurPhoto
Linn Grant won her first LPGA event Sunday at the Dana Open, winning at Highland Meadows Golf Club with a closing three-under 68, good for a three-stroke victory at 21 under par. Here’s how Grant, 24, won in Sylvania, Ohio.
Leaderboard: Grant (-21), Allisen Corpuz (-18), Lindy Duncan (-15), Xiyu Lin (-14), Stephanie Kyriacou (-14)
What it means: The heralded Swede announces her arrival on tour, winning in her fourth stateside start since becoming a tour member in 2022. Due to the United States COVID-19 international travel policy, Grant couldn’t travel to the county last year during her LPGA rookie season. Instead, she spent most of the year dominating the Ladies European Tour with four victories on the circuit. Grant maintained her LPGA card for 2023 in only six starts, including four top 10s and made her tour debut in the U.S. with a third-place finish at the Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play in Las Vegas in late May.
How it happened: Grant effectively won the championship Saturday. She broke away from the field with a third-round nine-under 62, the Dana Open’s best score of the week.
The Swede was nine under through 13 on the par-71 layout, holding a chance to join compatriot Annika Sorenstam as the two players to shoot 59s in tour history. Instead, Grant went even over the final five holes to walk away with a six-stroke lead at 18 under par going into the final round.
Grant started slowly Sunday, parring her first seven holes until missing the green on the par-3 eighth. Sitting in the rough behind the green, Grant chipped in for her first birdie of the day to move to 19 under par.
Another day, another chip-in
Linn Grant has turned on the burners 🔥 pic.twitter.com/rbZIZVVVjc
— LPGA (@LPGA) July 16, 2023
Despite a five-way tie for second place behind Grant to start the final round, only two players got to within four of Grant’s lead Sunday. Minjee Lee, who began seven back at 11 under par, entered the picture with a four-under charge through her first 10 holes. However, a double bogey on the 11th pushed the Australian out of contention. Lee ended up with a one-under 70 Sunday to finish at 12 under for the week and a T-7 result.
Allisen Corpuz birdied four of the last five holes to bring the American within two sitting in the clubhouse, posting a bogey-free six-under 65 to finish the week at 18 under par. Corpuz showed no weariness despite playing only a week after winning the U.S. Women’s Open, along with the travel issues she faced from Monterey, Calif., to Highland Meadows.
However, Grant displayed no nerves in her close, posting three birdies on the back nine and reaching the par-5 18th in two shots. Her win denied Corpuz from becoming the fifth player to win their first start after winning the U.S. Women’s Open. Meg Mallon last did it in 2004.
The winning moment for our newest star 🤩 pic.twitter.com/ToHTbINmaD
— LPGA (@LPGA) July 16, 2023
Best of the rest: Xiyu Lin posted her third top-five in her last four starts. Her torrid stretch began a month ago at the Meijer LPGA Classic (T-3), then another T-3 at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, followed with a T-13 at the U.S. Women’s Open. The Chinese native remains searching for her first career LPGA victory.
Stephanie Kyriacou’s T-4 finish is a new career best for the Australian. Her previous high mark was a T-7 at last year’s AIG Women’s Open. The 2022 LPGA rookie was part of Australia’s runner-up at the International Crown in May, where Kyriacou, 22, went 3-2-0 at the team match-play tournament at TPC Harding Park.
Mia Hammond, a 15-year-old amateur who qualified into the event on Monday, shot 68-68-70-72 for a six-under-par week, ending T-26. She’s a rising sophomore and ranked No. 6 in the Class of 2026 junior rankings.
Biggest disappointment: Lydia Ko sat at T-24 heading into Sunday after opening with a 67-68-72 at six under par. She went out in 42, a challenging eight-over-par start to her final round, culminating with a 78 for the worst round of the day, sending Ko down the leaderboard to T-65. She was assessed seven penalty shots during the round because she played preferred lies on holes where it was not allowed. The No. 3 player in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings has yet to finish in the top 30 since her first start of 2023 at the Honda LPGA Thailand.