A closer look at: Rose Zhang

July 12, 2022 | R. Forgues


A closer look at: Rose Zhang

Aged just 19, Rose Zhang already has many victories to her name. The native of Arcadia (California - USA), winner of the Junior PGA Championship followed by the Junior America’s Cup in 2017, took part in her first major back in 2018. She competed in the ANA Inspiration and even made the cut, finishing her week in 60th place. Since then, she has produced a series of top-flight performances and regularly wins some of the championships at the most prestigious US universities. Her latest wins: the NCAA Championship 2022 at which she was individual champion and then team champion two days later. A student at Stanford University and a member of Team Amundi US, the young American golfer is still an amateur but has all the qualities of a leading player.

Back in 2020 at the US Women’s Amateur, Rose Zhang has wrist pain, that she has had for several weeks, and that prevents her from playing her best golf.  She nevertheless decides to compete in the tournament and cards two rounds in 74(+2) & 71(-1) in stroke play, meaning she automatically qualifies for the match play. On the final leaderboard, she makes it through round after round without ever going over 18. Her wrists holds up. And would she do the same on Sunday 9th August 2020, the date on which she takes on the Australian Gabriela Ruffels in a marathon 36-hole match?

Things couldn't be closer fought, as the American is behind from the start (2 down off the 4th tee), and then makes her way back.  As the game progresses, she is unable to distance herself sufficiently from her opponent and move ahead of the pack in this final. After much suspense, she wins the event after a two-hole play-off and claims one of her greatest wins - if not the greatest - of her young career.  This really says it all about how talented and what a great gift Rose Zhang has for this sport.

This title, equally unexpected and spectacular, combined with her 11th place finish playing with the pros at the ANA Inspiration a few weeks later, enables her to take the amateur number 1 place in September 2020.  Even though she has been dethroned since, she is still the number 1 today.

Over the last two seasons, she has taken part in several major championships including the last edition of The Amundi Evian Championship. Last year, she celebrated her first participation in Evian and she finished her week with an encouraging 58th place. Thanks to her excellent performances, including a fine 40th place at the US Women's Open in June, she was awarded a wildcard to once again take on The Champions Course in a week's time. After making the cut in 2021, she will no doubt be looking for a place higher up the leaderboard this year.

For Rose Zhang, being one of the best women golfers on the planet, reaching the top of the leaderboard and making a name for herself as one of the most successful US players in history, are probably no longer just dreams but tangible goals.