Monday, July 30, 2018

Swedish amateur Linn Grant back in the 

headlines with a 62 at Ricoh WBO Final Q


Swedish amateur Linn Grant, past winner of the Helen Holm Scottish women's open stroke-play championship at Troon and third in the event this year, completed a superb international double when she carded a 10-under-par 62 to top the leaderboard at the Ricoh Women's British Open Final Qualifying at St Anne's Old Links this evening.


Two months ago Grant (pictured) shot a 67 and a 70 to claim a seven-shot win at the US Women’s International Qualifier at Buckinghamshire and she is back in the sporting headlines again by carding the low round of her career to leave the rest of a strong international field trailing in her wake at St Anne's Old Links.
The Swede began her round with four straight pars but then birdied the fifth, sixth eighth and ninth to go out in four-under par 32 and then raced home with further birdies and the tenth,
11th, 12th, 15th, 17th and 18th.
“That’s the low round of my career,” confirmed Grant whose grandfather was Scottish and won the Scottish boys’ championship in 1958 before emigrating to Sweden.
“I didn’t start all that fast but once I got going I hit a lot of good irons and also putted very well. That was the key. It was one of those days when I thought I could hole every putt I had.
“It’s going to be a big thrill to play in the championship,” she added. “I made the cut at the US Women’s Open at Shoal Creek so I’d like to do the same thing here and then see what happens after that.”
Grant’s 62 saw her finish four shots ahead of England’s Chloe Frankish and five in front of a second English woman Rachael Goodall.
Frankish started her round with an eagle two on the 347-yard par-4 first where she holed out from 30-yards off the green and followed that with a birdie at the 171-yard par-3 third. Her 66 transformed her fortunes after narrowly missing out on qualifying in each of the last two years.
“It’s great to make it this time because the first year I played I bogeyed the last and then lost in a play-off and then last year I missed by a shot.”
It also proved to be a good day for Grant's Swedish amateur international colleague Frida Kinhult who carded a four under par-68 to qualify in a share of fourth place alongside Norway’s Tonje Daffinrud, Israel’s Laetitia Beck, England’s Inci Mehmet, America’s Robynn Ree, Finland’s Ursula Wikstrom and Haeji Kang from South Korea. 
Both Grant and Kinhult were in the Swedish team that won last month’s European amateur team championdship in Austria.
There was a total of 17 places up for grabs at the Final Qualifier and at the end of the day former US Women’s Open champion Paula Creamer was one of 12 players who carded a three-under par 69 and then had to go out again to battle for the seven spots in the field at Royal Lytham and St Annes.
Twelve months ago Creamer successfully came through the Qualifier at the Castle course in St Andrews but this time she went all the way to the fourth extra hole before losing out to Canada’s Brittany Marchand after hitting her tee shot into a greenside bunker and failing to get up and down. The American will be the first Alternate/Reserve for this year’s Championship.
Thailand’s Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras was the first player to qualify with a birdie on the first extra hole and she was joined in this week’s field by English amateur Holly Muse, Wales’ Lydia Hall, Sideri Vanova from the Czech Republic, Italian amateur Ludovica Farini and America’s Tiffany Joh who was the halfway leader at last week’s Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open.
“It’s been quite a few days,” Joh said after qualifying with a par on the second extra hole. “I lost out to Lindy Duncan in a play-off at this year’s US Open so this makes up for that.
“It’s weird. You go out there not quite sure what to do. Some people like to play aggressively but I went out there trying to be a ‘Steady Eddie’ and make a lot of pars. It worked this time so I’m very pleased.”
Aberdeenshire's Michele Thomson will be the second Alternate/Reserve for this year’s Ricoh Women's British Open after battling all the way to the third extra hole where she lost out to birdies from Marchand and Creamer.

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