Pro completes epic comeback win, then makes shocking admission

Linnea Strom reacts at the ShopRite Classic.

Linnea Strom posted the best final round in LPGA history Sunday.

Hallowell/Getty Images

Lennea Strom started Sunday at the ShopRite LPGA Classic seven shots back. Her 8:20 a.m. tee time — just the third of the day — was nearly four hours before the leader’s.

She ended her day with a share of an LPGA record, a four-plus-hour wait and finally…holding the trophy.

After birdieing the final hole at Seaview’s Bay course Saturday to make the cut on the number in the 54-hole event, Strom put together a masterful final-round 60, the lowest on the LPGA all season, to win the tournament by one over Ayaka Furue and Meghan Khang.

“Honestly, really did not expect this waking up today,” Strom said after finally being declared the winner. “This is proof that you should never give up. Just go out there and give it your all.”

It’s the first LPGA victory for the 27-year-old Swede, who didn’t exactly come into the week in prime form. The 165th-ranked player in the Rolex Rankings had missed six of 11 cuts this year on the LPGA, including her last two events. Strom has just two finishes better than 57th this season.

Despite posting just the seventh round of 60 or better in LPGA history — and tying the mark for the lowest-ever final round — she admitted her game wasn’t at 100 percent.

“If I’m being honest I’m working on my swing a lot at the moment, so it might not look like it, but there are still some things I’m struggling with swing-wise,” she said. “So I didn’t hit every shot perfect today, but I think I managed it well. I missed in the right places. So I mean, that’s just golf. Some days it’s all going to work.”

And, boy, did she play some golf at Seaview Sunday. Strom scorched the front nine of the 1914 Donald Ross and Hugh Wilson design, making four birdies and closing it with a chip-in eagle at the par-5 9th.

She birdied the 10th to tie the lead of overnight leader Jenny Shin, who was still more than two hours from teeing off for the final round. Strom then closed with a flurry at the finish, four birdies in the last five holes to open up a four-shot lead, just as the final group were beginning their rounds.

She needed just 20 putts to put together the sixth round of 60 in LPGA history.

Sebastian Soderberg of Sweden three putts on the 18th hole during day four of the Volvo Car Scandinavian Mixed at Vasatorps Golfklubb on June 09, 2024 in Helsingborg, Sweden.
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Then, she waited.

“I had a longer lunch and then I did some stretching and some warmup again,” Strom said.

And just one player caught her.

There were plenty of low scores Sunday, but Shin faltered to a one-over 72. Furue made a charge, getting to six under for the day through 13 holes to climb one shot back, but stalled there, parring her last five holes.

Khang, who started the day two back at eight under, finally caught Strom at 14 under with her sixth birdie of the day on the par-3 15th. But her lone bogey of the day came on the next hole and was a costly one. When she missed the green and failed to birdie the par-5 18th, the victory was Strom’s.

“18, [I] told myself give myself a good chance,” Khang said. “Did a pretty good job. It wasn’t terrible being at the back of the green, but just didn’t execute my chip the way I wanted to. Funny enough, the birdie chip, gave it a pretty good run itself.”

Strom started the day in a tie for 52nd, which makes her win the largest final-round comeback by position on the LPGA over the last 40 years, according to Justin Ray.

“Even after nine holes I was like, I knew the leaders weren’t close to teeing off yet, so, I mean, I think I just tried to do as good as I could and I honestly didn’t think I was playing for winning,” Strom said. “I mean, obviously always want to win in the back of your head, but I just tried to put a good score out there today and I’m very proud of how I handled myself all around today.”

Amazingly, Strom’s was only the second most miraculous comeback of the day by a Swedish woman after Linn Grant completed an 11-shot comeback to win the DP World Tour’s Scandinavian Mixed.

Jack Hirsh

Golf.com Editor

Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is a 2020 graduate of Penn State University, earning degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. He was captain of his high school golf team and recently returned to the program to serve as head coach. Jack also still *tries* to remain competitive in local amateurs. Before joining GOLF, Jack spent two years working at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as a Multimedia Journalist/reporter, but also producing, anchoring and even presenting the weather. He can be reached at jack.hirsh@golf.com.

 

 

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