NCAA champ, No. 1 amateur Rose Zhang turning pro

Two-time NCAA champion Rose Zhang announced Friday she is leaving Stanford after two seasons and will make her pro debut at the LPGA’s Mizuho Americas Open.

At Stanford, Zhang posted 12 wins — the most in school history — in 20 events. Eight of those came in 2022-23 in just 10 events, and she’s tied with Tiger Woods for most wins in Stanford history in a single season.

The No. 1-ranked amateur in the world and a two-time first-team All-American, she is the first woman to win two NCAA titles. She twice set the NCAA single-season scoring average record, besting her 69.68 average as a freshman with a 68.81 mark as a sophomore.

The 20-year-old Zhang shared her summer schedule. which includes all four remaining women’s major events on the LPGA schedule. She has received exemptions from the AIG Women’s British Open and the U.S. Women’s Open.

“The endless love, support and inspiration from so many people brought me to this point of my golf career. From my teammates to my coaches and trainers, to my friends and family — you have all been integral in my journey, shaping me as a person and player while making sacrifices for my success. You have made it possible for me to pursue my dreams,” Zhang wrote on Instagram.

Zhang said she will continue to pursue her degree in communications at Stanford and will train at the university’s golf training center. It’s clear her presence on the team will be missed.

“It’s cliche to say, but I never dreamed of having the opportunity to coach the greatest female amateur of all-time,” Stanford women’s coach Anne Walker said. “Rose Zhang has led our team with class both on and off the golf course every day for two years. She’s broken every record, won every championship and taken our team to the top of college golf. I’m quite certain I’ll never coach anyone quite like Rose again — she’s a generational player.”