Linn Grant: Scandinavian Mixed winner

Game Changers

Fact: interest levels in women’s sports are higher among specific sports fans when men’s and women’s events are staged together.

Global measurement and analytics company Nielsen published such findings in a 2018 detailed study called ‘The Rise of Women’s Sports: Identifying and Maximizing the Opportunity.’

According to the report, 84% of general sports fans have an interest in women’s sport – 51% are male and 49% female.

Golf and sports fans, regardless of gender, age or ethnicity, were united in their praise on Sunday of Linn Grant, the talk of the golfing world as the 22-year-old Swede became the first winner on the men’s DP World Tour.

Grant’s swing and style were the envy of many as she went from a two-shot 54-hole lead to blitz her way to a nine-shot win at the Scandinavian Mixed tournament, co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour and Ladies European Tour.

“I hope this victory is big. I hope it brings women more forward and it gets people’s eyes on us a little bit more,” said Grant.

Co-hosted by 10-time major champion Annika Sörenstam and 2016 Open champion Henrik Stenson, the innovative tournament was born in 2020 when the Scandinavian Masters rebranded to the event in which men and women compete for the same prize money.

The significance was not lost on Grant’s fellow Swedes.

"This shows that we can play against each other in a fair competition and I hope we can use this and people see the quality of women's golf – Linn couldn't prove it any other way,” said Sörenstam.

Stenson, who finished tied-second, added: “I ended up tied second with a couple of late birdies and the only thing I could have done better was solo second because there was just one player out there today and she played amazing.”

Power of television

In 2016, Syngenta published ‘The Global Economic Value of Increased Female Participation in Golf’, which, focusing on eight markets, asked non-golfing women how they had been exposed to golf.

Nearly two thirds (62%) said through television.

Grant’s win could therefore could play a small but significant role in bringing newcomers to the game.

When the 2019 Solheim Cup between Europe and the USA at Gleneagles was seen around the world, it helped attract non-golfers to the sport.

As one female non-golfer once said at the biennial event in Scotland that year: “When I see golf on TV, it looks so relaxing and it looks so calm. It looks beautiful.”

Further Syngenta research – ‘Can the rise of women’s sport grow golf participation?’ – showed that with events like the Solheim Cup and Scandinavian Mixed, interest levels in the women’s game could be set for a surge. 

You can watch the highlights of Grant’s victory here: