Linnea Strom caps off the largest comeback by position on the LPGA Tour in 40 years to win the ShopRite LPGA Classic

The fans at Seaview bore witness to LPGA Tour history on Sunday at the ShopRite LPGA Classic. After making the cut on the number with a birdie on her 36th hole, Linnea Strom played with zero expectations in the final round, and with nothing to lose. The Swede shot a final-round 60, jumping from tied 52nd to the clubhouse lead to become the second Rolex First-Time Winner of the 2024 LPGA Tour season, and the 15th different player from Sweden to claim at least one Tour victory in her career.

“It's always been a dream of mine to win on the LPGA, so extra happy to be sitting here right now. I worked hard for it, so makes it even better,” said Strom, who became the first player on Tour to win after shooting a final-round 60.

Linnea Strom's final round

Starting the day in the third grouping at 8:20 a.m. local time, Strom made her first birdie on three after dialling in her approaches early. She notched three more birdies on five, six and eight before chipping in for eagle on nine to get to nine-under-par at the turn. Strom added birdies on 10, 14, 16 and 17, walking to the 18th tee tied with the tournament scoring record with one hole remaining.

An eagle on the par-5 closing hole would mean recording the second 59 in LPGA Tour history alongside Swedish icon Annika Sorenstam (2001), and a birdie would make it the best 18-hole score on Tour since Jessica Korda’s third round at the 2021 Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions.

Watch final round highlights of the ShopRite LPGA Classic

Strom missed the fairway off the tee and was short of the green on her approach. After missing the chip for eagle, Strom buried the birdie putt, walking off the 54th hole with her 11-under-par 60 and smiles abound. Strom said despite what could be considered an uptick in pressure, she refused to let anything phase her coming down the stretch.

“I knew I had a good score going, but I didn't think I was that close to 59. Obviously now unfortunate that I wasn't able to hit the green in two,” said Strom. “But it is what it is, and I still did my best and I'm happy that I was able to make a birdie at the end.”

Now, all she could do was wait.

The final pairing tee’d off at noon, just about 15 minutes after Strom finished her Sunday. That meant potentially four hours of patience – an elongated lunch, time in the gym to stretch, and eventually re-emerging around 3:30 p.m. to the putting green to begin warming up for whatever was to come.

As the rest of field finished up, Strom continued to hold the clubhouse lead. The closest to her were Ayaka Furue and Megan Khang, who ended the week in a tie for second at -13. Furue shot a bogey-free 65, but eight pars and one birdie on her back nine meant she ended the day one short of Strom’s number.

Khang tied Strom’s -14 with a birdie on 15, but a bogey on 16 meant there was still work to be done. Khang went for the final green in two, yet ended up with a disappointing par. At that point, no one left on the course could catch Strom, as her caddie broke the news to her on the range that she had completed the largest final round comeback by position in 40 years on the LPGA Tour.

A round with only 20 putts!

“Obviously there are moments you're going to start doubting yourself, especially if you haven't had a win out here. There are so many good players out here and a lot of players that have wins and a lot of players that haven't had wins,” said Strom.

“You know, for sure have been moments where I've been doubting myself if I'm good enough to win out here. So it's just very special to prove it to myself today that I do belong here. Yeah, it feels pretty special.

Atthaya Thitikul’s 65 on Sunday earned her a solo fourth finish (-12), while Switzerland’s Morgane Metraux earned a top five finish at -11 just weeks after earning a Ladies European Tour victory at the Jabra Ladies Open. New Jersey’s own Marina Alex posted a low score of her own, a 64, to end the week tied with Wei-Ling Hsu and Narin An at -10. Lauren Coughlin, Albane Valenzuela and 36-hole leader Jenny Shin rounded out the top of the leaderboard in a tie for ninth at nine-under-par.

Next up is the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give at Blythefield Country Club in Michigan.