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Rose Zhang: This is my 'trigger' key for making high-pressure putts


Yong Teck Lim

Rose Zhang knows how to make clutch putts, which is a good skill to have in golf. And one that's going to come in handy when she takes on Lexi Thompson, Max Homa and Rory McIlroy in Capital One's The Match later this month.

How does she do it?

In a video (below) with adidas, Zhang worked with a team of neuroscientists to analyze her putting routine and see how she manages over pressure putts.

Zhang’s data revealed that she has an elite ability to ignore the pressures from external distractions, a skill she says she cultivated with her father as a junior golfer. But, the data also revealed that Zhang has a tendency to take extra time when standing over high pressure putts—something many of us can relate to.

While it might feel good to take extra time, adidas’ team explained that the additional time causes athletes to enter into an analysis state, a state of mind that’s less optimal for execution and can cause players to overthink.

So the fix is to get Zhang pulling the trigger faster.

Look...and go

Rather than speed up her routine, Zhang opted to shorten it and take a single practice stroke instead of her usual two—a switch that would benefit many amateurs as well.

Zhang says that taking two practice strokes gave her a false sense of relief when she was in high-pressure situations. By switching to a single practice stroke, she’s ready to execute earlier and still in an optimal performance state.

“Understanding what I need timing, routine wise, really impacts my focus,” Zhang says.

Watch Zhang demonstrate her pressure putting skills during the ninth installment of Capital One’s The Match. Tune in Monday, Feb. 26 to watch Four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy and LPGA Champion Rose Zhang take on 11-time LPGA winner Lexi Thompson and 2023 Ryder Cup team member Max Homa at The Park golf course in West Palm Beach, Fla.