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Strom shoots 60 to win LPGA ShopRite Classic

<a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/teams/sweden-women/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Sweden;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Sweden</a>'s Linnea Strom acknowledges fans after capping her final-round 60 with a birdie at 18 to win the LPGA ShopRite Classic (Drew Hallowell)

Linnea Strom captured her first US LPGA title in sensational style on Sunday, firing an 11-under-par 60 to win the ShopRite Classic by one stroke.

The 27-year-old Swede, who needed a 12-foot birdie putt at her last hole on Saturday to make the cut on the number, posted the seventh round of 60 or better ever recorded on the LPGA tour and walked off the course with the clubhouse lead on 14-under 200.

Behind her, Japan's Ayaka Furue and American Megan Khang gave chase, Khang reaching 14-under with her sixth birdie of the day at the 15th.

But Khang bogeyed 16 and finished with a five-under 66 that left her tied for second on 199 alongside Furue, who carded a six-under 65.

"Honestly, really did not expect this waking up today," said Strom, who was finally able to celebrate after her long wait to see if she would be overtaken or forced into a playoff.

"This is proof that you should never give up," she added. "I worked very hard for this," she added. "Just surreal that it's finally happening."

Strom had four birdies before she chipped in for eagle at the par-five ninth and after adding birdies at 10 and 14 stormed home with birdies at 16, 17 and 18.

Her round was an LPGA tour record for lowest final round by an eventual winner, surpassing Park In-bee's 61 to win the 2014 Manulife Financial LPGA Classic.

She jumped from tied for 52nd to start the day to the winner's circle, surpassing Ayako Okamoto's rise from tied for 23rd going into the final round to win the 1987 Lady Keystone Open.

"It was fun and I embraced it," Strom said of her storming round on the Seaview Bay Course in Galloway, New Jersey, longtime host of this 54-hole event.

"I kind of haven't played that good beginning of the season so I've been missing this feeling a little bit," said Strom, who had made just one cut in her previous six starts. "It’s fun to see people out there and cheering you on."

- Hats off to her -

Jessica Korda was the last player to shoot 60 on the LPGA tour, at the Tournament of Champions in 2021. Paula Creamer, Anna Acker-Macosko, Lee Jung-yeon and Meg Mallon have also done it while Annika Sorenstam posted a 59 in 2001.

She said she knew she "had a good score going" when she arrived at the par-five 18th.

"But I didn't think I was that close to 59," she said. "Obviously now (it's) unfortunate that I wasn’t able to hit the green in two."

Khang knew just what she needed at the 18th, but wasn't quite able to get it.

"Linnea, incredible 11-under, first off, hats off to her," Khang said. "That's crazy out here, let a lone last round.

"Eighteen I told myself give myself a good chance. 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.

"It's kind of hard to be upset to lose to an 11-under day," added Khang, who captured her first LPGA title at the Canadian Women's Open last year but has struggled this year as she battled a back injury.

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