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The Rose Zhang era has officially begun.

The 20-year-old American won the Mizuho Americas Open at Liberty National Golf Club, becoming the first golfer to win on their professional debut on the LPGA since Beverly Hanson in 1951.

Zhang defeated Jennifer Kupcho at the second hole of a sudden-death play-off to etch her name into the game’s history books – just 13 days after the former Stanford standout won her second NCAA title.

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She now has a remarkable ten wins in her last 12 strokeplay starts.

“It’s incredible,” she admitted afterwards. “I want to continue trying to carve a path for young kids to just follow your dreams. I’m so thankful that the young kids enjoy me, enjoy my golf, and I’m just so thankful for the support.

“So I will continue to do what I’m doing. I’ll continue to fight. I’ll continue to work hard. Hopefully everyone can follow along.”

Zhang, who added that she hadn’t even expected to make the cut, has three college exams this week, after which she will take up membership of the LPGA.

“Going forward I understand that there is going to be a lot of bumps in the road, and I’m expecting a lot of obstacles that I’ll have to uptake and uphold,” she said.

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“But I think this is just the start. This is just a stepping stone. It’s crazy that this is my first win, first professional win already, but no doubt there is going to be a lot more things happening down the road.

“I’m just going to be continuing to learn inside the ropes.”

Not insignificantly, Zhang’s win also earned her $412,500 and is expected to see her vault into the top-100 of the Rolex Women’s World Rankings.

Reaction to Rose Zhang’s victory

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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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