For nearly her entire life, Rose Zhang has made history with a golf club in her hands. She added to her illustrious list of accomplishments on Saturday, with a 6-and-4 victory against Bailey Davis to win the U.S. Girls’ Junior at Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Zhang (above) , who came into this week as the No. 1 player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, now holds two USGA titles concurrently: the Girls’ Junior and the U.S. Women’s Amateur, which she won 11 months ago at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Maryland, just eight miles from Columbia. Zhang is the eighth player to have won both championships and the first to have won the Women’s Amateur first.
“To be able to win in such a grueling week, it's truly amazing,” said Zhang, 18, of Irvine, Calif. “In USGA events, you really need your ‘A’ game in terms of your patience, your grit and your golf game.”
After a 3-hour, 15-minute delay for dangerous weather, Zhang fittingly closed the match in style, hitting the flagstick with her 138-yard approach on the par-4 32nd. She converted the 5-foot birdie putt – her 10th of the day – and was promptly doused with a celebratory water shower. With the Girls’ Junior canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, winning the Glenna Collett Vare Trophy was worth the wait for Zhang.
“I'm really proud of the commitment and work that I put in over the past year,” said Zhang, an incoming freshman at Stanford University. “I’ve gotten more experienced, both in how I play and how I handle myself. And after last year, it was a really special week getting to see people cheering us on.”
Duke University standout Gina Kim won a weather-delayed final match at the Women’s North & South Amateur Championship, defeating Anna Morgan, 3 and 1, on Saturday for the title.
Kim led Morgan, 2 up, as the players approached the 17th hole of the final at Pinehurst No. 2. Kim’s shot to the green there landed within 4 feet of the hole, and Morgan’s found sand, so Morgan conceded the match after her bunker shot did not find the hole.
After five years of not making it past the Round of 16 at the tournament, Kim, of nearby Chapel Hill, North Carolina, finally claimed an important piece of hardware.
“This is literally a dream come true,” Kim said, clutching the Putter Boy trophy while standing in the shadow of the Putter Boy statue itself. “Quite honestly, I never expected this to happen. It’s hard enough just to get to match play here.”
Staff and Wire Reports