No. 1 for a reason: Stanford freshman phenom Rose Zhang holds on to win individual title wire-to-wire at 2022 NCAA Championship

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Rose Zhang is going to need a separate dorm room at Stanford for all her trophies.

The freshman phenom and No. 1 player in the nation proved worthy of her ranking by claiming medalist honors at the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship by three shots at 6 under at Grayhawk Golf Club on Monday. Zhang shot a final-round 75 to finish as the second consecutive Cardinal to win the title following her teammate Rachel Heck’s win in 2021. Heck and Zhang are the only two Stanford women to win the individual national championship, and each did so as freshmen.

The national championship is Zhang’s fourth win of the season after she earned medalist honors in her first three collegiate starts at the Molly Intercollegiate, Windy City Collegiate and Stanford Intercollegiate. In addition to her quartet of wins, Zhang finished runner-up on four different occasions and had her worst finish of the year nearby in Phoenix at the Ping/ASU Invitational, a T-10.

Zhang has been No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking since September 2020, earning the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the top-ranked amateur in both 2020 and 2021 and will likely win again in 2022 after her lights-out performance this week. Just how good was she? Her first bogey on the back nine was in Monday’s final round of stroke play.

Before Stanford the native of Irvine, California, had a distinguished junior career that featured wins at the 2021 U.S. Girls’ Junior and 2020 U.S. Women’s Amateur. She’s helped lead the United States to victory as a member of the Junior Solheim Cup team (2017, 2019), the Junior Ryder Cup team (2018) and Curtis Cup team (2021). She’ll tee it up for the Red, White and Blue at the 2022 Curtis Cup at Merion Golf Club outside Philadelphia, June 10-12.

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