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Ayaka Furue Ties for 2nd at ShopRite LPGA Classic

With her strong performance at Seaview Resort in New Jersey, Ayaka Furue earned her seventh top-10 finish in 13 LPGA Tour events in 2024.

Ayaka Furue earned a runner-up finish in the ShopRite LPGA Classic on Sunday, June 9.

The 24-year-old, who hails from Kobe, completed the three-round tournament with a 6-under, bogey-free 65 at Seaview Resort in Galloway, New Jersey. Furue tied American Megan Khang for second at 13-under 200.

"I'm happy to finish toward the top of the leaderboard," Furue was quoted as saying by Kyodo News. She added, "I hit the ball well starting from the front nine to create chances and thankfully they went in."

Tournament champion Linnea Strom excelled in the final round to erase a seven-stroke deficit after two rounds, carding an 11-under 60, a tournament record, on Sunday. This included nine eagles and a birdie. 

The Swede, who was tied for 52nd at the end of play on Saturday, finished at 14-under 199.

"Honestly, [I] really did not expect this waking up today," Strom said, according to The Associated Press. "This is proof that you should never give up. Just go out there and give it your all."

En route to victory, Strom matched the second-best round in LPGA Tour history.

In 2001, fellow Swede Annika Sorenstam established the record, shooting a 59 in the Standard Register PING's second round in Phoenix.

Who else shot a 60 on the LPGA Tour? Meg Mallon, Jung Yeon Lee, Anna Acker-Macosko, Paula Creamer and Jessica Korda, with Korda most recently doing so, in 2021.

Other Results at the ShopRite LPGA Classic

Also for Japan, Yuna Nishimura, Hinako Shibuno and Mao Saigo were among six players tied for 21st at 7-under 206.

Yuka Saso, who captured her second US Women's Open title on June 2, missed the cut after rounds of 69 and 73 left her at even-par 142.

South Korea's Jenny Shin held a one-stroke lead at 10-under 132 entering the final round. Furue was three shots behind the overnight leader and tied for third heading into Sunday.

Shin finished tied for ninth at 9-under 204.

Ayaka Furue
Ayaka Furue won her first LPGA Tour tournament title at the 2022 Women's Scottish Open. (KYODO)

Ayaka Furue is Having a Strong Season

With 13 LPGA Tour events completed in 2024, Furue has finished in the top 10 seven times.

In January, she was tied for fourth in the season-opening Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions and the LPGA Drive On Championship.

Her March results included a third-place finish in the Blue Bay LPGA event.

In addition, Furue was tied for sixth at the US Women's Open.

She earned $142,408 USD (about ¥22.4 million JPY) for her runner-up finish in the ShopRite Classic.

Asked about the overall quality of her play this season in a post-tournament news conference, Furue told reporters "I am definitely gaining confidence because of keeping my top-10 [ranking]."

Ayaka Furue
Ayaka Furue (KYODO)

Furue is currently ranked third in points among LPGA Tour golfers. Points are awarded at each tournament. An explanation of the points breakdown is posted on the tour's official website.

She credited mental focus as a key part of her strong performance in the final round in New Jersey.

"I think it was the windiest day today," Furue said of the three-round tournament before adding, "I just [concentrated] on my play."

As for the season to date, Furue said, "My putting is getting better, so I just keep that putting getting better and then just keep my shot getting better as well."

Ayaka Furue
Ayaka Furue in action in the third round of the ShopRite LPGA Classic. (KYODO)

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Author: Ed Odeven

Find Ed on JAPAN Forward's dedicated website, SportsLook. Follow his [Japan Sports Notebook] on Sundays, [Odds and Evens] during the week, and X (formerly Twitter) @ed_odeven


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