The Rise of Rose Zhang: The 20-Year-Old Golf Phenom Makes History in Professional Debut
On Sunday, the world witnessed a historic moment in golf as twenty-year-old Rose Zhang made her professional debut and won the Mizuho Americas Open. She secured her place in history by becoming the first player to win an LPGA tournament on their professional debut since Beverley Hanson achieved this feat seventy-two years ago.
Zhang’s journey was not an easy one. After shooting a six-under 66 on Saturday, she entered the final round with a two-stroke lead over Atthaya Thitikul, Aditi Ashok and Cheyenne Knight. However, it wasn’t smooth sailing for the two-time NCAA women’s golf national champion during Sunday’s final round.
A missed birdie putt on the 16th hole could have given her a comfortable lead but instead put Kupcho within striking distance. Despite narrowly avoiding dropping shots on holes 17 and 18, she still found herself tied with Jennifer Kupcho at nine-under par after regulation play.
In sudden death playoff action that followed, both players managed to recover from bad drives on the first playoff hole to tally par-saves. On the second playoff hole, Kupcho three-putted giving Zhang an opportunity which she grabbed with both hands by sealing victory with a crucial par shot.
Zhang finished shooting a two-over-par score of seventy-four for that day to finish at nine under overall; winning hearts around America along with lifting up spirits for aspiring young female athletes who want nothing more than their chance at greatness like hers!
Rose Zhang turned pro just last month following an outstanding career at Stanford University where she became the first women’s golfer in history to win back-to-back individual national titles. She capped off her collegiate career by defending her NCAA National Championship crown, tying Lorena Ochoa for most NCAA career victories with twelve and surpassing four others including Stanford alumnus and 15-time major champion Tiger Woods.
With this latest victory, Zhang has cemented herself as a rising star in the world of golf. Her triumph at Mizuho Americas Open is just the beginning of what promises to be an illustrious professional career filled with many more historic moments like these.
“I’m super excited,” Zhang said during a press conference after winning the tournament. “You guys will see me more on the LPGA Tour, as I am taking membership from now on, and I’ll be playing in 2023.”
The young prodigy’s future looks bright as she continues to break records and make waves within women’s golf worldwide!