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Rose Zhang made her LPGA debut Thursday at the Mizuho Americas Open, a step 11 years in the making for the Stanford sophomore. On Sunday, she made history by becoming the first LGPA Tour golfer in 72 years to win her debut.

Zhang won a plethora of awards throughout her high school and early undergraduate years. She’s a two-time McCormack Medal winner, an NCAA team and individual champion, and the recipient of the 2022 Annika Sörenstam award, among many other honors.

That’s just the tip of the Zhang iceberg.

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Here’s what you need to know about the college star-turned-professional:

Who is Rose Zhang?

Zhang, daughter of Haibin Zhang and Li Cai and sister of Bill Sida Zhang, started playing golf at the age of 9. She attends Stanford University, where she played on the women’s golf team. She has not declared a major.

Where is Rose Zhang from?

Zhang was born in Arcadia, Calif., on May 24, 2003. Just over a week after celebrating her 20th birthday, she made her LPGA debut.

She now lives in Irvine, Calif. She just finished her sophomore year at Stanford.

Rose Zhang high school

Zhang attended Pacific Academy in Irvine, Calif. There, she was a two-time McCormack Medal winner as the world’s top amateur golfer. Zhang joined elite company, including Lydia Ko (New Zealand) and Leona Maguire (Republic of Ireland).

She broke Michelle Wie’s scoring record (tied for 11th) in the 2020 ANA Inspiration Low Amateur and won the 2020 Rolex Girls Junior Championship. She was a four-time Curtis Cup Player of the Year and represented the United States at the 2019 Junior Solheim Cup and Pan American Games.

The 2021 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion competed in four LPGA major championships that year and represented the U.S. again at the 2021 Curtis Cup.

In high school, she became the eighth golfer to win both the U.S. Junior and U.S. Amateur, but the first player to win the Amateur before the Junior. 

Rose Zhang NCAA career at Stanford

In her two years and 58 rounds at Stanford, Zhang recorded a scoring average of 69.22 in 4,015 strokes. She ended at par or better in 50 of those rounds, and 31 ended in the 60s. She had 18 top-10 finishes. 

With 12 wins, she surpassed legends Tigers Woods, Patrick Rodgers and Maverick McNealy for most victories in Stanford golf history. Four came during her freshman season; the other eight were earned this past season. Zhang tied the NCAA single-season record with those eight wins, joining Renee Heiken (Illinois, 1992-93) and Lorena Ochoa (Arizona, 2001-02).

She’s also the first female golfer to win back-to-back individual college titles after defending her crown in May 2023. 

Zhang earned her wins in just 20 events. Woods played in 26.

She was also the 2023 winner of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship and the 2022 Pac-12 Player and Freshman of the Year. She was a first-team All-American for Golfweek (2022) and the WGCA (2022) and a two-time all-Pac-12 selection (2022, 2023).

She set the Pebble Beach Golf Links women’s course record with a 9-under round in the 2022 Carmel Cup. Her lowest tournament score, 19 under, was both the Stanford program’s 54-hole record and the lowest score in NCAA Regional history.

Rose Zhang golf swing

Zhang has the fundamentals of a great golf swing. Her head coach, Anne Walker, called her “the Mozart, the Van Gogh of golf.”

“She has a stroke of genius, she has an X-factor that you can’t describe, you can’t teach,” Walker told NCAA.com. “She just has the ability to dig deep to a place where she can do something special under immense amounts of pressure.”

Here’s what others are calling her “sweet swing”:



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