Stanford freshman and world’s No. 1 amateur Rose Zhang makes history with U.S. Girls’ Junior win

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The United States Golf Association couldn’t have scripted a better final match for the 72nd U.S. Girls’ Junior. No matter the outcome, history was being made on Saturday at Columbia Country Club.

On the one hand you had reigning U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Rose Zhang, who was attempting to be just the eighth player to win both the Women’s Amateur and Girls’ Junior, but the first to win the amateur before the junior.

On the other was local Maryland talent Bailey Davis aiming to be the first black American female to win a USGA championship.

Davis, a Tennessee-bound freshman, put up a strong fight and great performance all week, but it was Zhang who emerged victorious in the 36-hole final, winning, 6 and 4.

The incoming freshman at Stanford opened the morning with a bogey-free 6-under 64 (with match-play concessions) and went to the lunch break with a 4-up lead thanks to birdies on Nos. 4, 5, 11, 12, 16 and 18. Davis played well, carding an even-par 70 in the morning with the only real blemish coming on the par-5 12th hole, where she made double-bogey. The White Plains, Maryland, native hit her approach shot over the green into a bush. When some fans were looking for the ball, it fell out of the bush, and Davis took an unplayable lie. From there she struggled to find the green and conceded the hole.

Bailey Davis hits a shot from the cart path on the 12th hole during the final match at the 2021 U.S. Girls’ Junior at Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Md. on Saturday, July 17, 2021. (Photo: Kathryn Riley-USGA)

Davis came out firing in the second 18, earning a conceded birdie on the 19th hole (No. 1) to cut the lead to three. The pair went back-and-forth with pars for three straight holes before Zhang rattled off three birdies over the next four holes to take a 6-up lead through 26 holes.

After just her second bogey of the day, Zhang’s lead shrunk to 5-up with five holes to go. Walking to the 14th tee, play was stopped due to dangerous weather in the area at 2 p.m. ET and then resumed at 5:15 after a three-hour break.

Zhang closed out the match on the 33rd hole where she made birdie after sticking her approach.