Linn Grant is a fast learner and she’s nearly got the hang of Walton Heath Golf Club. The 24-year-old has managed to get better and better with each round at the AIG Women’s Open and, with just 18 holes to play, she is well within range of claiming the final major title of the year.
In her opening round on Thursday, Grant carded a respectable 1-over 73 with three birdies and four bogeys on the card. She came back the next day with a few lessons learned and carded a 3-under 69 landing at 18th on the leaderboard. Saturday, she managed to improve yet again, scoring a 4-under 68 and jumping to solo-sixth, just three shots back of the lead.
Though every round is a different challenge at a major championship, Grant is getting comfortable at Walton Heath.
“I think it’s different out there today, the wind is way more than it was yesterday, but you get a better feeling for every day, knowing what sides to miss and so on,” Grant told media Saturday afternoon.
Grant’s third round performance showcased the consistency of her game. Though she dropped a few shots and finished with two bogeys, six birdies – which were scattered throughout her round on holes 3, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 16 – easily made up the difference. Grant says her strong 3-under start on the front nine boosted her confidence and carried her through the remainder of her round.
“I think the first five holes are really tough,” Grant said. “I just hit the ball solid. I guess I had some lucky bounces as well, and I think that’s what you need out here. I tried to keep that momentum going throughout the whole round.”
The Swede is hitting her stride late in the season, having found her maiden win at the Dana Open less than a month ago. In her two events since then, the Amundi Evian Championship and the FREED Group Women’s Scottish Open, Grant finished T16 and T20 respectively. She has yet to miss a cut in 2023.
This hot streak is just in time for a last-minute push to clinch her spot on the European Solheim Cup team. Though she is already set to qualify for Suzann Pettersen’s team through her Rolex Ranking, currently No. 19, a top 10 finish or – even better – a major win, would assure her spot in the prestigious international competition.
But Grant is trying to make sure the pressure doesn’t get to her and is going into each day with few expectations. Ahead of her third round, Grant just told her caddy the goal was just to get under par, and she is trying to have the same chill mindset heading into Sunday.
“Just go out like I did today,” Grant said of her fourth-round strategy. “I kind of have a score in mind but also give it a chance without playing too aggressive and being too stupid, I would say. Just play at my targets.”