Stanford Phenom Rose Zhang Turns Professional

Rose Zhang, Stanford Golf,(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Rose Zhang, Stanford Golf,(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Two-time ANNIKA Award winner Rose Zhang announced today that she is turning professional. The Stanford sophomore from Irvine, CA made the announcement via Twitter where she said she plans to make her professional debut at the Mizuho Americas Open on the LPGA.

To say that Rose Zhang’s young career has been good is the definition of an understatement. Those who don’t follow the women’s amateur or professional games closely may not have even heard of Rose yet. But her list of accomplishments and accolades is impressive, to say the least. In fact, those accomplishments are too numerous to list here.

As a member of the Stanford Women’s Golf Team for the past two seasons, Rose helped lead the Cardinal to the NCAA Team Championship as a freshman. And lead she did. She set the single-season NCAA scoring average record as a freshman with 69.68 and then blew that score out of the water by breaking her own record and setting a new mark at 68.81 in her sophomore season.

Her career scoring average of 69.22 helped propel Rose to back-to-back NCAA individual championships, the first player in women’s golf history to accomplish that feat. For her career at Stanford, she won 12 times in 20 events — a staggering 60% win rate! That’s more wins than fellow Stanford alumni Tiger Woods, Maverick McNealy, and Patrick Rodgers who are tied with 11 victories.

Not included in those 12 wins is her triumph at the fourth edition of the celebrated Augusta National Women’s Amateur where the final round is played on the hollowed grounds of Augusta National Golf Club, itself.

Zhang saw her seemingly commanding 6-stroke lead erased over a tumultuous front 9 during Saturday’s final round, only to right the ship and come out victorious in a two-hole playoff with the University of Georgia’s Jenny Bae.

Whether Zhang has the same level of success on the pro level as she’s had as an amateur remains to be seen. Winning a golf tournament on any level is an extremely difficult challenge. But what Rose brings to the table is a track record of winning and winning in record-breaking fashion. That’s hard to teach.

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Rose Zhang will tee it up at Liberty National Golf Club

Zhang will tee it up In Jersey City, NJ for the LPGA’s inaugural Mizuho Americas Open from June 1-4.

Zhang has also received special exemptions into three of the next four women’s major championships – the U.S. Women’s Open, KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, and AIG Women’s Open.