IT'S OFFICIAL: Days after shattering a Tiger record, Rose Zhang is turning pro!

A few days after breaking one of Tiger Woods' Stanford records, collegiate standout Rose Zhang is turning pro - and she's been handed special exemptions into the year's remaining majors. 

Lara Kuipers's picture
Fri, 26 May 2023
IT'S OFFICIAL: Days after shattering a Tiger record, Rose Zhang is turning pro!

Augusta National Women's Amateur winner Rose Zhang has confirmed she's turning professional and that she has been handed special exemptions to compete in the remaining four majors of the season including the AIG Women's Open. 

Zhang, 20, has been one of the most exciting emerging talents over the past few years, breaking numerous records as she became one of the most successful amateur golfer's of all time. 

Back in early April, Zhang won the Augusta National Women's Amateur, setting multiple tournament scoring records along the way. 

Shortly after, she broke the record for number of weeks holding the No. 1 spot in the World Amateur Rankings, having had it for 136 weeks as of mid-April. 

Just a few days ago, Zhang, broke the record for most individual wins by a Stanford University golfer with her 12th victory in only her second year in the NCAA. 

The previous record was shared by Hall of Famer Tiger Woods, as well as Patrick Rodgers and Maverick McNealy, who each had 11 during their collegiate careers. 

Zhang notably did it in significantly less time, earning her 12th victory in just her 20th start. Woods won 11 in 26 events. 

Her record-breaking win was also at none other than the NCAA individual championship for women's golf, where she won with a 10-under 278. 

Winning the championship for the second season in-a-row, Zhang became the first ever back-to-back NCAA champion. 

Zhang matched the record for most single-season wins with eight wins in the 2022-23 campaign.

That record is shared with Lorena Ochoa and Renee Heiken. 

And now, Zhang is taking her career to the next level. 

In a post on her Instagram Friday, Zhang announced that she will be making her professional debut next week at the LPGA Tour's Mizuho Americas Open.

The tournament is brand-new for the LPGA Tour this year. It's being played at Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey and is hosted by five-time LPGA Tour winner Michelle Wie West. 

Per her announcement, Zhang will also be playing in all four of majors left in 2023, starting with the KPMG Women's PGA Championship set for June 22-25.

Here's Zhang's full announcement, including her current 2023 schedule:

Zhang will not only compete in the KPMG Women's PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club, but also the U.S. Women's Open at Pebble Beach, the Amundi Evian Championship at Evian Resort Golf Club and the AIG Women's Open at Walton Heath Golf Club.

Of competing in this year's AIG Women's Open from August 10-13, Zhang said: 

"I am honoured to have received a special exemption. I would like to thank The R&A for providing me with this incredible opportunity at the very beginning of my professional career and I hope to make the most of it.
"I have great memories of winning the Smyth Salver at Muirfield last year and was proud to see my name alongside so many great names on that trophy. The AIG Women's Open is a championship I would love to win one day and if that were to be at Walton Heath it would be very special."

It will mark the third time Zhang has competed in the AIG Women's Open. 

Zhang missed the cut by one stroke at Carnoustie in 2021 but finished in a tie for 28th at Muirfield last year to win the Smyth Salver as leading amateur.

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