World No.1 Amateur Rose Zhang Announces Decision To Turn Pro

The 20-year-old made the announcement on Instagram and will play in next week's Mizuho Americas Open on the LPGA Tour

Rose Zhang takes a shot at the 2023 Augusta National Women's Amateur
Rose Zhang has announced she is turning professional
(Image credit: Getty Images)

World No.1 women's amateur Rose Zhang has announced she is turning professional.

The 20-year-old made the announcement on Instagram, and also confirmed she will make her professional debut at next week’s Mizuho Americas Open on the LPGA Tour.

In a lengthy message, the 20-year-old began: “Wow… it’s finally happening. I am excited to announce that I am officially turning professional and will be making my debut at the @mizuholpga next week!”

Zhang also confirmed she would continue to earn her degree at Stanford, writing: “Stanford is truly a special place with special people. I would never take these incredible memories and experiences 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 also announced that, among a packed schedule, she will compete in all four remaining Majors this year. That’s thanks to a special exemption she has received from The R&A to play in this year’s AIG Women’s Open at Walton Heath, which was handed to her after her announcement.

In a separate statement, Zhang said: “I am honoured to have received a special exemption for the AIG Women’s Open at Walton Heath. I would like to thank The R&A for providing me with this incredible opportunity at the very beginning of my professional career and I hope to make the most of it. 

“I have great memories of  winning the Smyth Salver at Muirfield last year and was proud to see my name alongside so many great names on that trophy. This year I will be competing at the AIG Women’s Open for the first time as a professional. The AIG Women’s Open is a championship I would love to win one day and if that were to be at Walton Heath it would be very special.”

Zhang’s announcement marks the latest news in an incredible week. As well as celebrating her 20th birthday, she surpassed Tiger Woods for number of wins as a Stanford University golfer with her second NCAA Individual Championship. Then, she was handed the Annika Award for best college female plater for the second year running.  

Among her many achievements as an amateur, Zhang competed in the US Women's Open in 2019 aged 16. The year after, she claimed her best finish in a Major to date with a tie for 11th in the Chevron Championship. The same year, she won the US Women's Amateur. More recently, in April, she won the Augusta National Women’s Amateur in a dramatic playoff over Jenny Bae.

Zhang leaves the amateur game having spent a record 141 consecutive weeks at the top of the World Amateur Golf Ranking. She surpassed the previous record of 135 weeks, which had been held by Leona Maguire, last month.

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.