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History Maker

Here’s everything that will be coming Rose Zhang’s way with her victory

June 04, 2023
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Elsa

Rose Zhang has pulled off history. Again.

With a final-round 74, and then a par on the second hole a playoff to defeat Jennifer Kupcho at the Mizuho Americas Open, Zhang is the second player to win an LPGA title in her professional debut, joining Beverly Hanson, who won the 1951 Eastern Open.

Zhang made two bogeys and 16 pars during Sunday's final round at Liberty National in Jersey City, N.J. History was made, with the Statue of Liberty and New York City skyline in the background, when she rolled in her par putt on the second playoff hole.

In addition, Zhang earned an opportunity to accept LPGA membership with the victory, which the 20-year-old later made official shortly after closing out the win.

"What is happening." Zhang said afterward, still in shock. "To turn pro and come out here has just been amazing."

Here's what accepting her LPGA tour card Sunday means for Zhang:

• LPGA membership for the remainder of the 2023 season and through all of the 2024 season.

• Eligible to be part of the 2023 U.S. Solheim Cup team. You have to be an LPGA member to play for Team USA, and Zhang can now start to accumulate points in hopes of qualifying for the next two Solheim Cup—this September in Spain and the 2024 Cup next September at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Virginia.

• Begin accumulating CME points. Getting into the top 60 of the CME points list makes her eligible to play at the CME Group Tour Championship. Her 500 points from the victory moves Zhang ahead of major champion Hyo Joo Kim, who was in 18th at the start of the week with 497.9 points.

• Officially enters the race for the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year. Unfortunately, she can't claim the 150 points she would have otherwise earned for the victory since she was not officially a member. South Korea's Hae Ran Ryu is the current leader with 351 points after finishing in third place on Sunday, a shot out of the playoff between Zhang and Kupcho.