Mystery and Discontinuity: The Weird World of Sports News
Another week, another set of records sent tumbling in the wake of Rose Zhang. Having begun the final round four shots off the lead, Zhang tore round Scottsdale’s Grayhawk Golf Club with a bogey-free, four-under 68 to equal the NCAA record of eight single season wins held by Renee Heiken and Lorena Ochoa.
The Mozart of Golf
Zhang’s coach describes her as “the Mozart of golf, the Van Gogh of golf.” She has an X-factor that you can’t describe or teach. She just has the ability to do something special under immense amounts of pressure.
A 15-time major champion, Tiger Woods quickly established himself as an all-time great after a prodigious amateur career. On Wednesday before her 20th birthday, Zhang similarly boasts an eye-watering list of early accolades.
The Best Amateur Golfer Ever?
Rose Zhang won back-to-back individual national titles in Arizona on Monday to become the first women’s golfer in history to achieve this feat. Victory at Augusta National Women’s Amateur saw her break records for most weeks spent at world ranking summit while still being an amateur – over two-and-a-half-years! This followed wins at US Women’s Amateur (2020) and US Girls’ Junior (2021), among many other titles from various levels across different tournaments worldwide.
Ochoa vs Zhang: Who Will Prevail?
When she graduates into professional LPGA Tour ranks comes pressure to surpass Mexico’s legend – Lorena Ochoa – who put up string ten top-10 finishes during her rookie year before adding further glories with twenty-seven LPGA Tour victories plus two major championships in her resume.
Zhang’s six appearances at majors over the past two years where she has made all three cuts are testament to her talent. Her impressive performance so far is marked by a tied-28th finish at Women’s British Open at Muirfield.
A Future Star?
Rose Zhang is unfazed despite being compared to Tiger Woods and Ochoa, setting records for Stanford University wins – male or female – with 12 NCAA career victories to date. She remains focused on staying in the present without getting distracted by accolades such as these: “I have no idea what records that I’m setting,” she says humbly.