In a transfer lengthy anticipated, Rose Zhang, the two-time NCAA ladies’s golf particular person champion and longtime world No. 1 novice, introduced Friday she’s turning skilled.
The Stanford sophomore will professional debut within the inaugural Mizuho Americas Open at Liberty Nationwide Golf Membership subsequent week. Zhang, who turned 20 on Wednesday, introduced her transfer on Instagram. She’ll maintain a information convention subsequent Tuesday in Jersey Metropolis, N.J., in line with her agent, Kevin Hopkins, of Excel Sports activities Administration.
Zhang’s professional debut can be probably the most anticipated in ladies’s skilled golf historical past. Zhang made the reduce within the 2019 U.S. Ladies’s Open as a 16-year-old, received the 2020 U.S. Newbie, and completed tied for eleventh on the 2020 ANA Inspiration, an LPGA main. She might’ve turned professional then, however opted to enroll at Stanford. Whereas most anticipated her to play just one season of collegiate golf, she as a substitute spent two years with the Cardinal.
These two seasons produced a historic run. Zhang received 12 of 20 faculty tournaments, successful at an unheard-of fee. She broke Tiger Woods’ college report for whole wins whereas enjoying six fewer tournaments. She additionally matched Lorena Ochoa for probably the most wins in Pac-12 ladies’s golf historical past.
Zhang received each the 2022 and 2023 ladies’s particular person nationwide championships and led Stanford to the 2022 crew nationwide title. She’s additionally received the U.S. Ladies’s Newbie, the U.S. Ladies Junior and the Augusta Nationwide Ladies’s Newbie.
All instructed, Zhang has ranked No. 1 within the World Newbie Golf Rating since September 2020, a report.
How good is Zhang?
The accolades are too quite a few to listing, however of all them, probably the most jarring feat from Zhang is maybe her faculty scoring report.
As a freshman, the then-18-year-old set the NCAA single season report of 69.68 in 31 rounds performed.
Then, as a sophomore, she broke that report, shaving practically a full stroke (0.98) off her earlier whole, and establishing a brand new mark of 68.70 in 27 rounds.
In whole, 50 of Zhang’s 58 rounds as a collegian ended at par or higher. She shot 31 rounds within the 60s. Along with her 12 wins, she posted six different prime 10s.
It’s lengthy been speculated that, whereas enjoying as an novice, Zhang basically translated to a top-15 or top-20 participant on this planet. There’s no precise measure for that, however Zhang is predicted to compete instantly within the skilled ranks.
Her coaches typically say that it’s not one space of Zhang’s sport that stands proud probably the most — driving, ball-striking, brief sport — however as a substitute the entire of her components and her decision-making.
What’s Zhang’s impression on ladies’s skilled golf?
Having beforehand signed vital title, picture and likeness offers whereas in faculty, Zhang will enter the professional ranks with huge sponsorships already in place. She holds seven-figure offers with Callaway, Adidas and others.
Zhang’s novice profession was at all times a degree of fascination amongst golf followers. She’ll draw consideration early and infrequently as knowledgeable.
This summer season, she’s anticipated to play in all 5 majors and, if all goes to plan, use a collection of event exemptions to safe her LPGA Tour card.
After the Mizuho Americas, over the subsequent two months, Zhang will play within the U.S. Ladies’s Open at Pebble Seaside (June 22-25), the KPMG Ladies’s PGA Championship at Baltusrol (July 6-9), the Dana Open (July 13-16) and the Evian Championship (July 27-30).
(Photograph: Christian Petersen /Getty Photos)