In her first-ever tournament as a professional, Linnea Ström (Hovas, Sweden) started off scorching hot, scoring three birdies and an eagle to go out in 31 and get to 5-under par.
She made the turn in a tie for first.
“I like being nervous for the first couple holes, but then I just felt like it didn’t let go,” said Ström. “Even though I was playing so good on the front nine, like everything was really going my way and then I couldn’t really relax.”
On the back nine, Ström said she hit a couple bad shots that “cost her a little too much.” Four bogeys, a double bogey and two birdies later, she limited the damage to conclude day one at 1-under par.
Having a familiar face in her brother Adam on the bag for Florida’s Natural Charity Classic eased her mind and slowed her down. After completing her first round as a professional, Ström knows where she needs to improve to vault up the leaderboard on day two.
“I was a little too defensive and when you’re not relaxed, you kind of hold it and not let it go. Maybe, I thought a little bit too much ahead of myself.” Ström said. “That’s what I need to focus on tomorrow. I’m excited to start on No. 10, to get back on those nine and get better than today.”
There’s also one other piece to the puzzle of success that Ström has pinpointed. It may be cliché, but for the rookie, it is definitely a point of emphasis to maintain an edge and shake off the nerves.
“Just go out and have fun. Take it one shot at a time. Try to enjoy being here because I like the course,” said Ström.