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Linn Grant playing with freedom amid increased expectations on title defence

Linn Grant playing with freedom amid increased expectations on title defence

Linn Grant says it will be difficult to live up to the “surreal” expectations around her as she makes her Volvo Car Scandinavian Mixed title defence 12 months on from her historic triumph.

The Swede produced a scintillating performance to record a memorable nine-shot victory last year at Halmstad Golf Club to become the first woman to win a DP World Tour event.

The triumph was one of four Grant enjoyed in a stellar rookie season on the Ladies European Tour that saw her win the season-long competition and named rookie of the year.

In the past month she has since added a fifth Ladies European Tour title to her name in France and finished third in her first LPGA start in the United States at the Bank of Hope Match-Play in Las Vegas.

Victory this week would see the home star become the first player to win her home open on back-to-back occasions, but the 23-year-old is not looking too far ahead.

“It feels fun,” she said. “I don’t think too much about the expectations, I think they are a bit surreal because it’s not that often you win two times in a row, so I am just going to go out, play and have fun, and see how things end up.”

The Volvo Car Scandinavian Mixed is a co-sanctioned event between the DP World Tour and Ladies European Tour and it sees 78 men and 78 women playing for the same prize fund of US $2 million and one trophy.

This year the tournament moves to a new venue in Ullna Golf Club, just 30 minutes from Stockholm, and Grant is excited to be testing her game again at a different course in front of Swedish crowds.


“I feel good, I just played the course today, the full 18 and it’s a nice place,” she said.

“A tricky course but some birdie opportunities out there and I’m really looking forward just to get out and play and see how low I can go.

“Well, I think there are some narrow tee shots out there, the greens are also, well they are Jack Nicklaus greens, so they are a bit slopey, and a lot of wedge shots though, so I think it will be a lot of low scores.”

One player who will be aiming to emulate Grant and celebrate another home success story is Madelene Sagström.

The Solheim Cup star is making her first competitive appearance in Sweden in eight years this week and is delighted to be playing her part in showcasing the depth of talent in her homeland.

“It’s super cool to be at home,” Sagström said. “This is the first time I’ve played in Sweden since 2015.

“It’s a huge week for me to be here to represent both myself and the Swedes. It’s super exciting and this golf course is fantastic.”


Sagström will play alongside Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello and ten-time Major winner Annika Sörenstam over the opening two rounds and has heaped praise on her fellow countrywoman and tournament host ahead of the tournament’s third edition.

“I’m really close to her and her family,” she said. “So it’s nice to be here to also represent them in a way and help them. I’m obviously not Annika, but I’m still hoping I can bring some fans from my hometown.

“She’s done so much for me personally, and as for [what she’s done for] the game, we can’t even start, we would have to be here all day!

“It’s awesome that she’s working so hard for women’s golf and trying all these different things to make the game more interesting. The fact she’s also playing herself is a huge commitment.”

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