[PHOTO: NurPhoto]

Linn Grant won her first LPGA event today at the Dana Open, winning at Highland Meadows Golf Club with a closing three-under 68, good for a three-stroke victory at 21-under par. Here’s how Grant, 24, won in Sylvania, Ohio.

Leaderboard: Linn Grant (-21), Allisen Corpuz (-18), Lindy Duncan (-15), Xiyu Lin (-14), Stephanie Kyriacou (-14)

What it means: The heralded Swede announces her arrival on tour, winning in her fourth Stateside start since becoming a tour member in 2022. Due to the United States’ COVID-19 international travel policy, Grant couldn’t travel to the country last year during her LPGA rookie season. Instead, she spent most of the year dominating the Ladies European Tour with four victories on the circuit. Grant maintained her LPGA card for 2023 in only six starts, including four top 10s and made her tour debut in the US with a third-place finish at the Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play in Las Vegas in late May.

How it happened: Grant effectively won the championship on Saturday. She broke away from the field with a third-round, nine-under 62, the Dana Open’s best score of the week.

The Swede was nine-under through 13 holes on the par-71 layout, holding a chance to join compatriot Annika Sorenstam as the two players to shoot 59s in tour history. Instead, Grant went even-par over the final five holes to walk away with a six-stroke lead at 18-under going into the final round.

Grant started slowly in the final round, parring her first seven holes until missing the green on the par-3 eighth. Sitting in the rough behind the green, Grant chipped in for her first birdie of the day to move to 19-under.

Despite a five-way tie for second place behind Grant to start the final round, only two players got to within four of Grant’s lead. Minjee Lee, who began seven behind at 11-under par, entered the picture with a four-under charge through her first 10 holes. However, a double-bogey on the 11th pushed the West Australian out of contention. Lee ended up with a one-under 70 to finish at 12-under for the week and a T-7 result.

Allisen Corpuz birdied four of the last five holes to bring the American within two sitting in the clubhouse, posting a bogey-free six-under 65 to finish the week at 18-under. Corpuz showed no weariness despite playing only a week after winning the US Women’s Open, along with the travel issues she faced from Monterey, California, to Highland Meadows.

However, Grant displayed no nerves in her close, posting three birdies on the back nine and reaching the par-5 18th in two shots. Her win denied Corpuz from becoming the fifth player to win their first start after winning the US Women’s Open. Meg Mallon last did it in 2004.

Best of the rest: Xiyu Lin posted her third top-five in her past four starts. Her torrid stretch began a month ago at the Meijer LPGA Classic (T-3), then another T-3 at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, followed by a T-13 at the US Women’s Open. The Chinese pro remains searching for her first career LPGA victory.

Steph Kyriacou’s T-4 finish is a new career best for the Sydneysider. Her previous high mark was a T-7 at last year’s AIG Women’s Open. The 2022 LPGA rookie was part of Australia’s runner-up effort at the International Crown in May, where Kyriacou, 22, went 3-2-0 at the team matchplay tournament at TPC Harding Park.

Mia Hammond, a 15-year-old amateur who qualified into the event last Monday, shot 68-68-70-72 for a six-under-par week, ending T-26. She’s a rising sophomore and ranked No.6 in the Class of 2026 junior rankings.

Biggest disappointment: Lydia Ko sat at T-24 heading into the final round after opening with 67-68-72 to sit six-under par. She went out in 42, a challenging eight-over par start to her final round, culminating with a 78 for the worst round of the day, sending Ko down the leaderboard to T-65. She was assessed seven penalty shots during the round because she played preferred lies on holes where it was not allowed. The No.3-ranked player in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings is yet to finish in the top 30 since her first start of 2023 at the Honda LPGA Thailand.