Rose Zhang first LPGA player in 72 years to win on pro debut

Twice NCAA Champion Rose Zhang became the first LPGA Tour Winner on her professional debut in 72 years when she won the Mizuho Americas Open by a par on the second hole in a playoff against Jennifer Kupcho on Sunday.

The last player to win her professional debut was Beverly Hanson, who won the 1951 Eastern Open ahead of Babe Zaharias.

Zhang hit a two-over-74 on the final round and missed a chance to win the event on the 72nd round when she missed an 8-foot par saver after struggling in a tough final-round performance at least made half a dozen clutch saves.

The much-touted 20-year-old from Stanford made a nearly identical 8-foot hitter on the first playoff hole at 18th Liberty National. Kupcho, who won an NCAA title at Wake Forest in 2018 and had a 69 in the final round, also made par.

Both players hit the fairway at #18 on the second playoff hole, but Zhang hit her approach within 10 feet of the fairway. Kupcho came up short on the approach, her first putt going just over the back edge of the green and her second putt just missing. That left Zhang a two-putt par to win.

Zhang held her face in disbelief after the winning putt fell and was then accosted and gifted with bouquets of roses.

Zhang, who has been the most hyped player on the tour since Michelle Wie back in 2009, didn’t have a yardie on her final round and finished the course nine-to-279 with the New York skyline in the background.

South Korean rookie Hae Ran Ryu (70) finished third with eight under. Aditi Ashok of India, Ayaka Furue of Japan and Eun-Hee Ji of South Korea were down by seven. Ashleigh Buhai of South Africa, Leona Maguire of Ireland and Yuka Saso of Japan finished six under, three behind the leaders.

Zhang turned pro last week after the NCAAs and much was expected right away. She was the top-ranked women’s amateur for 141 weeks and won every major women’s amateur tournament, the US Women’s Amateur, the US Junior Girls, the NCAAs, and the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.

The win was worth $412,500 and also automatically earned Zhang an LPGA Tour membership.

Viktor Hovland wins the memorial

DUBLIN, Ohio — Viktor Hovland completed the toughest course at Muirfield Village and ended up hitting three clutch putts to win the memorial in a playoff against unlucky Denny McCarthy.

Hovland finished two-in-70 in another brutal Test on a course that had been scorching in the sun all week, forcing the playoff with a 30-foot birdie in the 17th — the only one at that hole in the final Round – and saved the par from behind the 18th green.

Back on Day 18 of the playoffs, Hovland barely got to the front of the green about 60 feet from the back pin and hit two putts, potting a 7-foot par putt.

It was his fourth PGA Tour win and first on American soil, this time with a $3.6 million winner’s check and a handshake from host Jack Nicklaus. The Norwegian’s previous wins have come twice in Mexico and Puerto Rico.

Emma Bowman

Emma Bowman is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma Bowman joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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