Rose Zhang makes history at Mizuho Americas Open in pro debut
04 Jun 2023
by Jim Young of AmateurGolf.com

see also: View results for Mizuho Americas Open, Liberty National Golf Club, Rose Zhang Rankings

Golfweek photo
Golfweek photo

Well, that didn't take long.

Less than two weeks after turning professional, Rose Zhang defeated Jennifer Kupcho on the second playoff hole to win the Mizuho Americas Open at Liberty National Golf Club.

Zhang is now the first player to win on the Tour in her pro debut since Beverley Hanson accomplished the feat in 1951. She's also the first ever to win the NCAA Division-I individual title and win on the LPGA Tour in the same season.

The win also gives Zhang automatic LPGA Tour membership.

"What is happening? I just can't believe it," Zhang said on the Golf Channel. "It was just last week when I won NCAAs with my teammates, and to turn pro and come out here, it's just been amazing. I've enjoyed the journey ... I had so many cheers around me, all my friends and family. I'm just so grateful."

After carding a 6-under 66 in the third round, the 20-year-old former Stanford star began the day with a two-shot lead at 11-under. She was nursing a one-stroke lead over Kupcho heading to the final hole, but a bogey on the last left her in a playoff with the former Wake Forest All-American.

After the two former ANWA champions halved the first playoff hole with pars, they returned to the 18th hole for a second time. Although Kupcho outdrove Zhang by some 40-yards, Zhang pumped a hybrid to within 10 feet to a back pin placement to set up a birdie try.

Kupcho had 146 yards to the hole, but came up woefully short on her approach. She then raced her lag putt off the green and when her comebacker failed to find the cup, Zhang had two putts from 10 feet to seal her inaugural win.

She tapped in for a par to finish off a historic victory in the shadows of the Statue of Liberty.

"This golf course is rough," Zhang said on the Golf Channel. "I really got a bit of everything, got a taste of the pressure, got a taste of the wind. I tried to stay composed as always. I knew that golf was just a grind and you really had to dig deep, so once again that's what I did. I'm glad I'm here."

It's Zhang's fourth consecutive victory dating back to the Pac-12 Championships in April.

Zhang recently concluded a dominant amateur career by becoming the first female in NCAA history to win multiple national titles. Her 12 collegiate wins (in 20 events) set a new Stanford golf record, surpassing Tiger Woods (26 events), Patrick Rodgers (35 events) and Maverick McNealy (45 events) who all won 11 times.

View results for Mizuho Americas Open
ABOUT THE Mizuho Americas Open

Introduced in 2023 and hosted by Michelle Wie, this tournament will feature 120 LPGA players competing alongside 24 top-ranked junior girls from the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA), creating an unprecedented week of education and access to inspire the next generation of LPGA Tour players.

View Complete Tournament Information

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