Sweden’s Linn Grant came from behind on a dramatic final day at the Jabra Ladies Open to pip Anne van Dam by two shots on nine-under-par and clinch her fifth title on the Ladies European Tour (LET).
Starting the day tied with the Dutch star on seven-under-par in France, Grant got off to a nervy start at Evian Resort Golf Club when she bogeyed her first hole on the opening par-4.
With Italy’s Alessandra Fanali and France’s Celine Herbin also in the mix, the Swede then dropped another shot on the par-4 6th before van Dam birdied the following hole to stretch their gap to three shots.
“I knew there was a lot of birdie opportunities out here,” Grant said. “So I knew if I kept calm and did what I usually do, I’d be able to bounce back sooner or later.”
Approaching the turn, Grant regained her composure to post back-to-back birdies on the 9th and 10th with fellow LET winner van Dam unable to respond.
A tense back nine then saw a string of pars from the duo with fellow Swede Johanna Gustavsson closing in after four birdies in 12 holes moved her to six-under-par.
The 15th then proved to be the turning point. Leading the charge, Gustavsson found trouble down the right to eventually post a double-bogey and see her title charge drift away.
A group later, Herbin made a clutch birdie to move to seven-under-par before Grant also birdied the par-5 after reaching the green in two. Van Dam was then unable to match the pair after hitting the bunker, leaving a grandstand finish with the Dutch star and Grant tied on eight-under-par.
“[Anne] made me focus a bit more,” Grant continued. “I knew she could make birdies at any moment so I had to be aggressive. The birdie on 15 gave me some hope. Then I just kept being patient knowing that 18 was coming up.”
One hole later, van Dam failed to get up and down again as Grant saved par to take the lead.
Chasing Grant for the first time since Thursday, van Dam dropped another shot on the 17th to give the 23-year-old a two-shot advantage over her with Herbin the clubhouse leader on seven-under par.
After reaching the green in two on the par-5 18th for a third consecutive day, Grant would two-putt for birdie for a 69 (-2) to win by two shots and claim her fifth LET title, and first with coach Steven Jeppesen on the bag.
“I’m feeling really happy,” the Swede said. “This course is tricky and I feel like today with some patience and good golf I really managed to hold on. I’m really happy. I said to my coach that if I win I want to get pancakes, so we’ll see!”
A birdie finish for van Dam saw her end the week T2 alongside Herbin on seven-under-par.
“I’m very happy with how I played today,” the Frenchwoman said. “It was very good and I enjoyed myself. I could feel that it might come down to the last hole. But it was a lot of fun and I’m really lucky to have played on this course. It’s always nice to play in France, it was awesome!
“It’s my first event of the year on the LET, so it’s nice to start with a second place.”
In a tie for fourth on five-under-par finished Gustavsson, Fanali, and her Italian teammate Virginia Elena Carta – who soared up the leaderboard on the final day with a 67 (-4). The final leaderboard for the 2023 Jabra Ladies Open can be found here.
In the 2023 Race to Costa Del Sol, Grant now leaps into second place in the standings on 968.33 points after collecting 500 points for winning her first event of the campaign.
India’s Aditi Ashok still leads the way despite having not tee’d up in France with 1,210,00 points. Spain’s Ana Peláez Trivino is third on 862.33 points.
After landing her fifth LET win, Grant will now move to Florida full of momentum for next week’s second Aramco Team Series event of the season.
Grant said: “It’s good to know I haven’t lost anything over the spring and that I can still get a win. I’m now ready for the rest of the season.”
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