Rose Zhang Wins Augusta National Women's Amateur In Dramatic Playoff

The World No.1 Amateur defeated Jenny Bae at the second playoff hole to keep up her incredible run of form

Zhang lifts her hand in the air whilst her putt rolls towards the hole
(Image credit: Getty Images)

In a back-and-forth final day, it was Rose Zhang who eventually came out on top, with the American parring the 10th hole, defeating Jenny Bae at the second playoff to give her, somewhat, an amateur career Grand Slam!

Having claimed the 2020 US Women's Amateur, 2021 US Girls Junior, 2022 NCAA Women's Individual, the only title missing from her CV was the Augusta National Women's Amateur. Now though, as Zhang has secured a fourth Major title in her fourth year, she can add the decorated title to her trophy cabinet.

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Beginning the final day, it seemed that it was going to be the Zhang show, with the 19-year-old starting the round with a five-shot lead at Augusta National. However, an opening double bogey showed there were nerves there, but a birdie at the par 5 second somewhat steadied the ship.

At one point, Zhang actually went to six shots clear, but bogeys at the fourth, fifth and seventh saw that lead wiped down to three. The World No.1 Amateur was visibly struggling so, during the seventh hole, the blow of the hooter because of incoming weather was a blessing as it allowed her to almost restart.

Upon returning though, after many hours in the clubhouse, her struggles continued as those in pursuit started to hone in on the American. After a five shot lead had got down to one, a crucial birdie at the 13th meant Zhang had a two shot cushion with just five holes remaining.

Zhang celebrates with her caddy on the 10th hole

Zhang celebrates with her caddy, and dad, on the 10th hole after her playoff victory

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A par at the 14th was welcome but, at the par 5 15th, things started to unravel for Zhang after she decided to go for the green when a lay up was the more sensible option. Striking her fairway wood, it never looked like getting over the water as a bogey saw her lead go back to one.

A few holes ahead, it was Bae that made the killer move, with a birdie at the 17th tying things up at the top of the leaderboard. As she parred the 18th, Zhang had a chance to birdie the last and secure the win but, as she struck the putt, it stayed high, meaning we were heading to a playoff.

Two pars followed at the first playoff hole but at the second, the par 4 10th, it was Bae who blinked first, with her pulled second shot finishing on the pine straw and deep in the trees. With Zhang on the green in two, an unlikely up-and-down would need to happen.

However, Bae could only find the greenside bunker and, after she played a stunning shot from there, it would be Zhang who would have two putts for the title. As she struck her birdie attempt, it seemed only one would be needed but, after somehow staying out, a simple tap-in ensured yet another high-level victory.

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x