Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Rose Zhang Wins LPGA Debut in Playoff; 1st Women's Golfer to Achieve Feat in 72 Years

Doric Sam

Rose Zhang completed her run toward history on Sunday, defeating Jennifer Kupcho in a final-round playoff to win the Mizuho Americas Open and become the first woman to be victorious in an LPGA Tour event while making her professional debut in 72 years.

Zhang, who won her second straight NCAA Division I individual title less than two weeks ago, is now the first woman to win an LPGA tour event and an NCAA championship in the same season, per Justin Ray.

Zhang put herself in position for victory by shooting 6-under 66 in the third round on Saturday to take a two-shot lead into Sunday's final round. The former Stanford star shot 2-over 74 on Sunday and finished tied with Kupcho at 9-under overall, but Kupcho went 1-over par on the second playoff hole while Zhang even-parred it for the win.

Tiger Woods was among those to react to Zhang's victory on Sunday:

Zhang is a budding superstar in women's golf. She won 12 of 20 individual events during her two years at Stanford, and she was ranked as the top women's amateur player for 141 weeks after earning victories at events like the U.S. Women's Amateur, the U.S. Junior Girls and the Augusta National Women's Amateur. She hasn't let her newfound attention affect her play.

"I've been pretty comfortable when I've been on the golf course," Zhang said after the third round on Saturday. "I've been able to tap into my zone and I've just been trying to think about how this is the sport that I've been playing for the last 10 or so years. I'm just doing what I need to do and going back to what my body knows."

Now, the 20-year-old will turn her attention to racking up more victories on the LPGA Tour.


Read 0 Comments

Download the app for comments Get the B/R app to join the conversation

Install the App
Bleacher Report