Stanford star and top-ranked women’s amateur Rose Zhang officially turns pro.
Zhang announced on Instagram on Friday that she would finally turn professional. The 20-year-old sophomore will make her debut next week at the inaugural Mizuho Americas Open at Liberty National Golf Club.
“The endless love, support and inspiration of so many people has brought me to this point in my golf career,” Zheng wrote in part. “From my teammates to my coaches and trainers, to my friends and my family – you have all been an integral part of my journey, molding me as a person and player as I made sacrifices for my success. You made it possible for me made to chase my dreams… Stanford is truly a special place with special people. I would never take these incredible memories and experiences for granted. With that in mind, as I continue my professional career, I will continue to pursue my degree for years to come Stanford forever.
“I appreciate everyone who continues to believe in me and support me as I begin this new chapter in my life. With faith in God’s plan, I am excited for what is to come.”
Rose was quickly granted an exemption on Friday to compete in the US Women’s Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links in July by the USGA. She also received an exemption to the AIG Women’s Open in Surrey, England in August.
The Irvine, California native is arguably the best women’s amateur golfer in history. Zhang is a three-time winner of the McCormack Medal – an award given by the R&A to the best amateur player in the world – and twice the Annika Award – given to the best collegiate women’s player. She set the NCAA’s single-season scoring record twice, dropping it to 68.81 during her sophomore season, and averaged 69.42 in 62 rounds.
She won the 2020 US Women’s Amateur, the 2021 US Girls’ Junior and the Augusta National Women’s Amateur earlier this year. Zhang made the cut at the 2019 US Women’s Open as a 16-year-old and finished 11th at the 2020 ANA Inspiration – one of five major championships at the LPGA.
She also won back-to-back NCAA individual titles—making her the first woman ever to do so at the Division I level—and led the Cardinal to a national team title last year. Zhang won 12 of the 20 college tournaments she played in, including eight of the 10 she played last season, tying the record for women’s Pac-12 golf wins. Tiger Woods won just 11 times in his 26 starts while playing at Stanford.
Zhang has been ranked No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking for a record 141 consecutive weeks, dating back to September 2020.
“It’s cliché to say, but I never dreamed of coaching the greatest female amateur of all time,” Stanford coach Anne Walker said in a statement. “Rose Zhang has led our team with class every day for two years, both on and off the golf course. She has broken every record, won every championship, and taken our team to the top of college golf. I’m pretty sure I never will.” coach someone like Rose again – she’s a generation player. Everyone at Stanford is better because she’s been around Rose and we’re so glad she’ll be a cardinal for life. “