Zhang has made a good first impression since coming onto LPGA Tour
By Ryan Gaydos
Rose Zhang has some serious skills.
The rising star on the LPGA Tour was at Pebble Beach Golf Links preparing for the upcoming U.S. Women’s Open – the first time the major will be at the historic course. Zhang was hitting balls on the par-3 seventh hole on Monday when she inadvertently made an incredible trick shot.
Zhang hit a tee shot downhill toward the green in what appeared to just be a simple stroke. However, the camera from Callaway Golf captured Zhang’s tee flying up and landing in her right back pocket as she turned her hips.
The 20-year-old blazed a trail as an amateur at Stanford as she won two NCAA championships with the Cardinal as well as the 2020 U.S. Women’s Amateur and the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship.
In her first professional tournament last month, Zhang won the Mizuho Americas Open in a playoff. She became the first player to win her pro debut on the LPGA Tour since 1951. She followed that up with an eighth-place finish at the Women’s PGA Championship.
“In the past month it’s been very crazy, hectic, but I’ve been enjoying every moment,” Zhang said Tuesday. “There’s a lot more attention, a lot more media, but it’s kind of expected when you are doing well and when you are the rookie trying to go out here and play the best you can. So I’ve just been taking everything in my stride.”
Zhang already has experience playing at Pebble Beach through the Carmel Cup, a college event last September. She shot a 63 in the second round to break the course record for women. It helped Zhang and the Cardinal win the match.
Zhang recalled that she had hit all 18 greens in regulation.
“Now that I remember, I didn’t take a wedge out,” she said.
There’s some stiff competition going against Zhang. Jin Young Ko and Lydia Ko are among the favorites in the field as well as Nelly Korda, Michelle Wie West and Lexi Thompson.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.