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Rose Zhang leaves a dominant newbie profession to show professional

Rose Zhang dominated newbie golf like no different feminine within the fashionable recreation. Now the Stanford star is able to…

Rose Zhang dominated newbie golf like no different feminine within the fashionable recreation. Now the Stanford star is able to tackle one of the best.

Zhang introduced Friday she is popping professional, ending an newbie profession wherein the 20-year-old sophomore set the Stanford document with 12 wins — another than Tiger Woods — in solely 20 tournaments.

She gained the Augusta Nationwide Ladies’s Novice, adopted by her second straight NCAA title and was No. 1 within the newbie world rating for 141 weeks, one other document.

“Wow … it is lastly occurring,” Zhang introduced on Instagram. “The limitless love, help and inspiration from so many individuals introduced me so far of my golf profession.”

She can have no scarcity of alternatives — the remaining 4 majors, together with the US Ladies’s Open and the Ladies’s British Open — have given her particular exemptions.

The Ladies’s Open is at Pebble Seaside, probably the most iconic of US Open venues, for the primary time. Whereas now not an newbie, Zhang is the primary participant to get a particular invitation to the US Ladies’s Open with out having LPGA standing since Michelle Wie West.

“This can be a massive second for our sport, and I am very appreciative of the USGA for the chance to be a part of it,” Zhang mentioned.

Even rarer is getting an invite to the Ladies’s British.

“Rose Zhang is an extremely proficient golfer who has already written her identify into the historical past books as an newbie golfer,” mentioned Martin Slumbers, the CEO of the R&A. “It is rather uncommon that we grant a particular exemption for the AIG Ladies’s Open however we consider that Rose’s distinctive achievements to this point warrant her inclusion within the discipline at Walton Heath.”

Zhang will make her debut subsequent week within the Mizuho Americas Open, a brand new match hosted by Michelle Wie West at Liberty Nationwide in New Jersey.

“Rose is without doubt one of the best newbie golfers within the historical past of the game – male or feminine – and we’re thrilled to welcome her into our discipline,” mentioned Jerry Rizzieri, the president and CEO of Mizuho Securities USA.

It was an instance of the hype that Zhang introduced with him to the skilled recreation. However then, she has been dealing with expectations ever since she gained the US Ladies’s Novice and the US Women Junior. She was the eighth participant to win each, however the first to win the Ladies’s Novice (at age 17) earlier than the Junior.

Together with the 2 NCAA titles — Stanford gained the workforce title final yr — the ultimate piece of an incomparable profession was the Augusta Nationwide Ladies’s Novice, already among the many elite newbie occasions as a result of it’s held on the dwelling of the Masters.

She additionally will participant the Kroger Queen Metropolis Championship in Cincinnati, an occasion run by Excel Sports activities, the administration company with whom she is signed.

Zhang already has NIL offers at Stanford, and given her combination of prodigious expertise and memorable grace and humility, is prone to be among the many highest-paid in girls’s golf by company endorsements. Such bulletins are anticipated subsequent week.

Zhang grew up in Irvine, California, and spent two years at Stanford. Her 12 profession titles — the final gained was the NCAA — broke the document beforehand held by Tiger Woods, Patrick Rodgers and Maverick McNealy. She tied the Pac-12 document set by Lorena Ochoa at Arizona.

Zhang first reached No. 1 within the girls’s newbie rating in September 2020. She broke Lydia Ko’s document of 130 consecutive weeks at No. 1, and general document (141 weeks) that was set by Leona Maguire.

Together with the 2 Opens, the KPMG Ladies’s PGA at Baltusrol and the Amundi Evian Championship in France, Zhang has accepted invites to play the Dana Open close to Toledo, Ohio, and the Canadian Ladies’s Open. She may qualify for different LPGA occasions by ending within the prime 10.

Whereas turning professional, Zhang mentioned she would end her diploma at Stanford.

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AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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