SHOAL CREEK, Ala. – The name Linn Grant might be an unfamiliar to American golf fans, but the 18-year-old Swede already owns a prestigious title: Ladies British Amateur Stroke Play champion. Now playing in her first major, the amateur Grant currently sits in a tie for fourth at 3-under 141, seven strokes behind leader Sarah Jane Smith.
“I wanted to see how the other players play,” said Grant, “and to compare my own game to theirs.”
Grant qualified for the Women’s Open by dusting the field at the Buckinghamshire, England, qualifier, finishing seven strokes ahead of Catriona Matthew.
Actually, Grant’s family has had a fair bit of success on Matthew’s home track, North Berwick. Grant won the 2017 British Amateur Stroke Play at North Berwick 49 years after her grandfather, James Grant, won the Scottish Boys Championship on the same course. James died when Linn was 6 years old.
Linn, who heads to Arizona State this fall, is 64th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. There are a dozen players in the field at Shoal Creek who are ranked inside the top 50, with Albane Valenzuela leading the way at No. 4.
There are 29 amateurs in the field, the most since 2014 (36). Four are currently in red numbers.