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Matilda Castren: First Finnish Winner on LPGA Tour

Who was the first golfer from Finland to win on the LPGA Tour? Before June of 2021, that's a question that had no answer: No Finnish golfer had ever won on the LPGA. But now, the correct answer is Matilda Castren.

Castren, in 2021, was still in rookie season on the LPGA, even though her rookie status began in 2020 (the COVID-19 pandemic caused status from 2020 to carry over to 2021). And at the 2021 LPGA Mediheal Championship, Castren earned her first career victory — and the first win for Finland on the LPGA.

Castren began the final round two strokes behind leader Min Lee. But she started the final round with birdies on the first three holes, then added an eagle on No. 5. That put her 5-under through five holes for the final round.

She built her lead to three at one point before Lee managed to close the gap. But then Castren stuffed an approach on the 18th green and closed out her victory with a short birdie putt. Castren shot 65 in that final round and finished at 14-under par.

Castren was born in New York and holds dual citizenship, but her Finnish parents moved back to Finland when she was a baby and she grew up there. She has always represented Finland at the international level.

At the collegiate level, Castren played at Florida State University, where she won seven NCAA titles in an All-American career. She turned pro in 2017 and spent two years, 2018 and 2019, playing the Symetra Tour. She had one win on the lower tour at the 2020 Mission Inn Resort and Club Championship. Her victory at the 2021 LPGA Mediheal Championship came in just her 15th start on the LPGA Tour.

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