Stanford Phenom Rose Zhang, World’s Top Amateur Golfer, Is Headed to Pros

The 20-year-old is following in the footsteps of another Stanford alum who went pro at the same age

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Rose Zhang, the most-decorated amateur in women's golf history, said Friday on Instagram that she's turning pro.

The 20-year-old made the announcement after her sophomore season at Stanford, where she won 12 individual titles, beating a record shared by Tiger Woods -- who also left the school after his sophomore year to go professional.

Zhang, who is the first woman to win two NCAA Division I individual national championships, will make her LPGA debut at next week's inaugural Mizuho Americas Open at Liberty National Golf Club outside of New York City.

"The endless love, support and inspiration from so many people brought me to this point of my golf career," Zhang said on Instagram. "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."

The U.S. Golf Association has granted Zhang a special exemption Friday into the U.S. Women's Open, which is July 6-9 at Pebble Beach Golf Links. She's also been given an exemption to compete in the AIG Women's Open at Walton Heath Golf Club in Surrey, England, in August. She held the No. 1 ranking in the Women's World Amateur Golf Ranking for a record 141 consecutive weeks, dating to September 2020.

At Stanford, she twice set NCAA single-season scoring records, with a 69.68 average as a freshman and 68.81 as a sophomore. She had a 69.42 average in 62 collegiate rounds.

Zhang also said she'll continue her Stanford education during her professional career and plans to eventually earn her degree. 

“Stanford is truly a special place with special people. I would never take these incredible memories and experience for granted. With that in mind, while I am pursuing my professional career, I will continue to earn my degree in the years to come. Stanford fam forever” Zhang said. 

The California native also won the U.S. Women's Amateur in 2020 at age 17, the U.S. Girls' Junior in 2021 and the Augusta National Women's Amateur this April, where she shattered the scoring record.

"It's cliche to say, but I never dreamed of having the opportunity to coach the greatest female amateur of all-time," Stanford coach Anne Walker said in a statement

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