It’s easy to see a future LPGA Tour star in Rose Zhang. The Californian, just weeks ahead of starting her sophomore year at Stanford University, was the lone amateur to play 72 holes at Muirfield. In return, she received the Smyth Salver, a silver plate that is bestowed on the AIG Women’s Open’s lowest amateur. Past winners include AIG Women’s Open champions Georgia Hall and Anna Nordqvist, as well as major winners Danielle Kang, Lydia Ko and Michelle Wie West.
“Just to make the cut into the weekend is just really special for me to play Muirfield for another two days, and to just see the entire course and play with more great players is just an experience that I won't forget,” said Zhang, who finished T28 at +1. “But I'm just really happy to be here and done. Winds were brutal today, but I loved every moment.”
At just 19 years old, Zhang was competing in her 10th major championship, having received multiple exemptions thanks to wins at the 2020 U.S. Women’s Amateur, 2021 U.S. Girls’ Junior and 2022 NCAA National Championship. She made the cut in all three of her 2022 major appearances, and now will enjoy 10 days at home before returning to Europe for the World Amateur Team Championship in Paris, France. And of course, the question on everyone’s lips is will Zhang, who has already captured every major amateur title available to her, turn professional any time soon?
“It's all up in the air right now. I feel like I have so many options that I can go either way,” said Zhang, No. 1 in Women’s World Amateur Golf Rankings since September 2020. “I think for now I'm going to go back for my sophomore year and just enjoy another great year with my teammates.”