Grant Leads Sweden to Third Consecutive European Championship
UPPSALA, Sweden – Sun Devil Women's Golf sophomore Linn Grant and the Swedish Golf team defended home turf by winning their third consecutive European Ladies' Team Championship this past weekend.
In a highly-anticipated final match, a pair of Sun Devil teammates found themselves in an unfamiliar position. Linn Grant and Alexandra Forsterling competed against each other, as Sweden and Germany battled for one of the top prizes in the amateur European golf scene.
Grant sunk the championship-clinching putt on the 16th hole, winning her match 3&2 to help Sweden earn their 10th overall title. The victory brings the country into a tie with England for the most championships in the history of the event. Previous winning Swedish teams included Grant, Sun Devil sophomore Amanda Linner, and current LPGA Tour star Anna Nordqvist.
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Shoutout to Linn Grant and Team Sweden ???? on claiming their third consecutive European Ladies' Team Championship!
— Sun Devil W. Golf (@SunDevilWGolf) September 12, 2020
All three Sun Devils representing their country in the event advanced after the first day of stroke play qualification. Italy and Alessandra Fanali finished the highest of the group, earning the four seed heading into the quarterfinals. Linn Grant and Sweden claimed the five seed, giving us our first All-ASU matchup of the event. Alexandra Forsterling's German squad qualified for match play as the seven seed.
The format changed in match play, requiring teams to compete in one foursome and two singles matches. Grant and teammate Beatrice Wallin won their foursome, 5&4, earning the match-winning point for Sweden while eliminating Alessandra Fanali and Italy. Despite qualifying as the seven seed, Germany did not look the part in their matchup with No. 2 seed France. Alexandra Forsterling and her teammate Helen Tamy Kreuzer came out victorious in the foursome, sealing a berth in the semifinals for Germany.
The remaining two Sun Devils ended up on opposite sides of the bracket for the semifinals, setting up the potential for an All-ASU final. First, Sweden had to get past Switzerland, while Germany would need to survive a test from Denmark. Linn Grant did her part in helping the Swedish side sweep Switzerland in the semifinals, defeating Caroline Sturdza in her singles match. In a repeat of the quarterfinal action, Forsterling and her teammate Kreuzer claimed the foursome victory. It turned out to be a crucial point, as Germany defeated Denmark 2-1.
Two of the top amateur European female golfers also happen to be Sun Devil teammates. However, the 2020 European Team Championship required them to be foes for one round. Grant (Sweden) and Forsterling (Germany) led their respective countries to a shot at one of the most prestigious titles in the amateur golf scene.
A closely contested championship match developed between the two sides, with it coming down to the result of Linn Grant's singles match. The sophomore showed the poise that Sun Devil fans became used to seeing throughout her All-American freshman season, burying a putt on the 16th hole to clinch the championship. It is the third consecutive year Grant has been on the Swedish team that won the title.
As the two Sun Devils were on their way to the finals, Alessandra Fanali and Italy were making a run on their own. Following their quarterfinal loss to eventual tournament champion Sweden, Italy won their next two matches to earn a fifth-place finish. Fanali went 2-0 in her foursome matches, as the Italians defeated Iceland and France. The Sun Devil trio combined for a 7-2 record in their nine matches at the 2020 European Team Championships.
ABOUT THE COURSE
The host country of Sweden had the annual European amateur event at the Upsala Golf Club. The course was founded in 1937 making it the 22nd oldest out of 460 in the Swedish Golf Federation.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
A loaded roster awaits Forsterling, Fanali, and Grant when they return, as every member of the 2019-20 team comes back to Tempe. Four-time All-American and recent LPGA participant Olivia Mehaffey highlights the group, bringing an unprecedented resume. With highly-touted freshmen Ashley Menne and Breyana Matthews are added to the fold, the Sun Devils will boast one of the most talented and deep rosters in the country. Under the direction of three-time National Champion Missy Farr-Kaye and newly-promoted Associate Head Coach Michelle Estill, the team will receive the proper coaching and guidance that it takes to succeed at the highest level. Fans of the Sun Devil Women's Golf program have a lot to be excited about.
HOW TO FOLLOW
For the latest updates and information on the Sun Devil Women's Golf program, follow our Twitter/Instagram accounts (@SunDevilWGolf), like our Facebook page (facebook.com/sundevilwgolf/), and visit our website (thesundevils.com).