A third player has made it to the finish line of the Ascensus Race for the Card, clinching 2023 LPGA Tour membership. Sweden’s Linnea Ström, who is currently No. 3 on the Official Money List, has been through this before, but has a little extra gratitude this time around.
“I’m obviously very excited to have earned my LPGA card back for next year,” said Ström. “After really struggling last season, my main goal for this season was to earn my card back, but it was also to find happiness again and enjoy playing golf. I’m extremely proud that I achieved that goal this season.”
Ström was an LPGA Tour rookie in 2019, after finishing the 2018 Epson Tour season fifth on the Official Money List. The Swede had three top-20 finishes in her rookie season and two top-10 finishes in 2020. By all accounts and observations, she appeared to be a rising star. But after struggling in 2021, missing 13 cuts in 21 events, Ström returned to the Epson Tour, disappointed and looking to reboot her career.
“I had a lot of anxiety on the golf course,” said Ström. “I wasn’t as happy as I normally am on the golf course either. That took a really hard toll on me and unfortunately, I did lose my card last year.”
After losing LPGA Tour status, Ström considered her options. Doubting her abilities, she even put walking away from the sport on the table. The other option was to keep playing, to compete on the newly sponsored Epson Tour and forge her own pathway back to the big stage.
“To be honest, I was very close to giving up last year,” said Ström. “I’m so happy that I didn’t. I’m just so thankful that I have a supportive family and very supportive coaches around me. I think that’s very important. You need to create a good team around you that will support you no matter what.”
With help from her support team, Ström bounced back and won the third event of the Epson Tour season – the IOA Championship presented by Morongo Casino Resort & Spa. Ström has five top-10 finishes since March and has also been in the top-10 of the Ascensus Race for the Card standings since then.
“You have to trust the process,” said Ström. “It’s a long process, but you have to trust it, believe in yourself and believe that you can play well on the tour.”
Ström will complete her journey on the “Road to the LPGA” next week, as the season wraps up with the Epson Tour Championship in Daytona, Florida. She’ll head back to the LPGA Tour with her head held high and confident in her abilities.
“I think it’s important to remember that everybody is going to go through a rough patch at some point in your career,” said Ström. “You just have to continue to work hard and if this is really your dream, it is possible. You have to believe in it, work hard and eventually you will make it out there.”