Former Stanford star Rose Zhang holds sole lead after third round of debut at Mizuho Americas Open

JERSEY CITY, NJ - JUNE 03:  Rose Zhang of the United States tees off at the first hole during the third round of the LPGA Mizuho Americas Open at Liberty National Golf Club on June 3, 2023 in Jersey City, New Jersey.  (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Rose Zhang is looking like the real deal. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) (Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Rose Zhang, arguably the best women's amateur golfer in history, is looking pretty good as a professional through three rounds.

The 20-year-old Stanford product finished Saturday with the sole lead at the Mizuho Americas Open, in which she is making her LPGA Tour debut. She currently sits at 11-under for the tournament after shooting a 66, two strokes ahead of the trio of Aditi Ashok, Atthaya Thitikul and Cheyenne Knight.

One of Zhang's six birdies came on the par-3 14th hole, with her tee shot setting up an easy birdie putt to catch Knight atop the leaderboard.

Zhang's shot of the day might have been when she drove the green on the par-4 16th hole for a very makable eagle putt. She just missed, settling for a birdie and the sole lead.

This kind of performance was everything fans could have hoped for after Zhang turned pro last month. Her résumé up to that point included being the first woman to win back-to-back NCAA titles, twice setting the single-season scoring record and making the cut in all three majors she played last year. Tiger Woods comparisons are frequent for Zhang as a historically great amateur at Stanford, and she was even more successful college, with wins in 12 of 20 college tournaments played compared to 11 of 26 for Woods.

Zhang was ranked No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings for a record 141 consecutive weeks, starting in Sept. 2020 and ending last month.

This week's tournament is only the start for Zhang, who is set to play in all four remaining majors this year with the KPMG Women's PGA Championship (June 22-25), U.S. Women's Open (July 6-9), Amundi Evian Championship (July 27-30) and AIG Women's Open (Aug. 10-13).