In the third week of February, the women’s golf world rankings did not change at all from No. 1 Lydia Ko (New Zealand) to No. 11 Riona Maguire (Ireland). This is because most of the tours, including the U.S. Women’s Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and Korea Women’s Professional Golf Association (KLPGA), have entered a winter break. So, the change in the ranking of two people within the world ranking 50 seems more noticeable.
The main characters are Maya Stark and Lynne Grant (above Sweden), who won the championship and runner-up at the Lala Merriam Cup held in Morocco on the 13th. Grant, who took first place in both LET points and rookie category last year, rose six places from 29th to 23rd in the world rankings, and Stark, who was second in LET points last year, jumped five places from 37th to 32nd.
There are points to watch with interest on the world women’s golf stage in 2023. It is the ‘Swedish Women’s Golf Blast’ that Grant and Stark will lead.
Sweden is the country of eternal golf empress Annika Sorenstam. Grant and Stark are the ‘Sorenstam Kids’ who started playing golf when Sorenstam dominated women’s golf in the world. There are four Swedish players in this week’s world ranking of 32nd.
Sweden’s power in the LET is enormous. Last year’s LET points ranked 1st to 3rd were all Swedish players, and Carolyn Headwell스포츠토토, who ranked 8th, was also from Sweden. In third place is Johanna Gustafsson. In particular, it is necessary to pay attention to Grant and Stark.
Grant is a unique player. Grant, who debuted simultaneously in Europe and the United States last year, won the Grand Prize and the Rookie of the Year award with four wins in the LET, but only ranked 8th in the LPGA Tour’s rookie rankings. This is because he only played 6 tournaments. This is because he could not participate in the competition held in the US mainland because he had not been vaccinated against the corona virus. However, he performed well enough to finish in the top 10 four times.
Grant is not an overwhelming long hitter, but he has the ability to drive long distances in the top 20, and is an all-weather player style with iron shots, putting, and mentality. This is a situation where it is compared to Ataya Titikkun. Her golfing style is similar to that of Sweden’s great senior, Annika Sorenstam.
To domestic golf fans, she is better known as the first female golfer to win the Scandinavian Mixt, which was held for both men and women. She also descends from a family of golfers with a strong backbone. Her grandfather, James Grant, was a Scottish professional golfer who immigrated to Sweden, and her father, John, played on the Swedish Golf Tour. Grant, who had risen to No. 2 in the amateur rankings, made her professional debut in August 2021 at the age of 22, a late age for a female golfer.
Stark, who was ranked 16th in the rookie rankings on the LPGA tour last year, also participated in 11 tournaments, but showed potential by winning the ISPS Handa World Invitational. He predicted a blast in 2023 this year when he finished runner-up at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions, which he entered as the winner last year. Following that uptrend, he won the 6th LET career at the Lala Merriam Cup.
In the LET Aramco Ladies Invitational held in Saudi Arabia on the 16th, only 18 players from Sweden, including Grant, will participate.
A large number of Korean female golfers, including Jeon In-ji, Kim Hyo-joo, Lee Jeong-eun6, Lim Hee-jeong, and Kim A-rim, also cast their votes for this tournament, which had a total prize money of 5 million dollars. World-class top stars such as Lydia Ko and Ataya Titikkun will also participate, but it is expected that the match between Sweden’s Sorenstam Kids and Korea’s Seri Kids will be interesting.