Stanford’s Rose Zhang starts sophomore year in style, sets women’s course record at Pebble Beach

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Rose Zhang was a four-time winner during her freshman year at Stanford, including the NCAA Championship last May, while also helping lead the Cardinal to the team title and earning college golf’s national player-of-the-year award. Given all that success, the fear of a “sophomore slump” might surface as the 19-year-old from Irvine, Calif., returns to school this fall. But if her performance so far in her opening tournament of the 2022-23 season is any indication, there’s little need to worry.

On Saturday, during the second round of the Carmel Cup at Pebble Beach Golf Links, Zhang added another impressive accomplishment to her résumé. With seven birdies and an eagle, she shot nine-under 63, setting the women’s competitive course record.

Here’s Zhang wrapping up the round on the Pebble’s famous par-5 18th.

Zhang’s 63 bested the 64 that Brittany Linciome shot during the 2021 TaylorMade Pebble Beach Invitational. The men’s course record is a 61, set by Hurly Long during a college event in 2017. Tom Kite (1983), David Duval (1997) and Patrick Cantlay (2021) all shot 62s during the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

The 63 came after Zhang opened with a four-under 68 on Friday, and lifted her to a 13-under 131 total, which ties Stanford’s school record for low 36-hole score set last spring. Zhang takes a five-shot lead over Texas A&M’s Jennie Park entering the final round on Sunday, while Stanford leads the team competition by nine shots over the Aggies.

Two weeks ago, Zhang won the Mark McCormack Medal, given to the No. 1 ranked amateur, for a third time. That honor comes with an automatic exemption into the next year’s U.S. Women’s Open, a tournament Zhang, the 2020 U.S. Women’s Amateur champ, has already played in four times. Guess where next year’s U.S. Women’s Open is being played?

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