Rose Zhang "couldn't really talk" after congratulatory message from NBA star

Rose Zhang said one NBA all-star's message stood out after she won her maiden LPGA Tour event.

Lara Kuipers's picture
Thu, 22 Jun 2023
Rose Zhang "couldn't really talk" after congratulatory message from NBA star

Rose Zhang's incredible triumph a few weeks ago at the Mizuho Americas Open has reached far past just the world of golf.

In fact, it's even reached the NBA.

After a historic career as an amateur where Zhang broke multiple records, the long-time World No. 1 decided to make her highly-anticipated professional debut.

The 20-year-old announced she would be going pro ahead of the inaugural Mizuho Americas Open on the LPGA Tour in early June.

And with high expectations, Zhang delivered.

The California product shot rounds of 70, 69, 66, and 74 to end up in a playoff with fellow former Augusta National Women's Amateur champion Jennifer Kupcho.

With a beautiful approach on the second playoff hole, Zhang was able to secure her maiden win in her professional debut - the first woman to do so since 1951.

What followed was predictably an outpouring of congratulations for the phenom, including from fellow former Stanford golfer and 82-time PGA Tour winner Tiger Woods.

Now, Zhang is back in New Jersey for her professional major debut with the KPMG Women's PGA Championship at Baltusrol.

And while speaking to reporters ahead of this week's tournament, Zhang admitted that another sports legend congratulated her for her incredible achievement.

"Yeah, there's been plenty of people that I've been shocked by and super happy that they reached out," Zhang said. "One of my, I guess, sports role models and role models in general, Steph Curry, he even kind of put me on his story and just congratulating me."

She added:

"I'm not a screamer, I would say. I was just like -- I couldn't really talk. I was just like, oh, wow. Like I had to look at it, I had to look at the story for a couple seconds before I actually gathered my thoughts, and then usually it would also be my other friends texting me that someone notable sent like a story with me, so I was just reading the texts before I actually saw the stories.
"It was just like a, oh, wow. You just keep looking at your DMs and you're just amazed by how encouraging they are."

Steph Curry, 35, was a first-round draft pick back in 2009 and has since become one of the most dominate players in the league for the Golden State Warriors.

He's a two-time NBA MVP, has nine All-NBA selections, and is a four-time NBA champion.

He also happens to be an avid golfer, even being announced as one of four participants in the latest iteration of The Match, set to be played at the end of the month.

Zhang will make her professional major debut this Thursday as she tees off in a star-studded group with Lexi Thompson and Minjee Lee.

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