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As Rose Zhang Takes a Leaf Out of Solheim Cup Teammate Nelly Korda’s Book, a Thrilling Admission About the LPGA Rookie Takes Center Stage: ‘A Beast’

Published 09/08/2023, 5:30 AM EDT

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The PGA Tour and the LPGA Tour will join hands this December for a mixed-team event at the Tiburon Golf Club & The Ritz-Carlton Naples in Florida. In a unique format, the event will see 16 men and women each compete for the same prize money. The latest addition to the line-up is none other than the LPGA’s latest sensation, Rose Zhang.

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Earlier this year, Zhang turned pro. Since then, she has made her presence known through stellar golf performances. She is often dubbed as the next Tiger Woods in the LPGA circuit. And it looks like the 20-year-old is staying true to that nickname, with a current PGA Tour pro singing her praises.

PGA Tour pro lauds his new partner, Rose Zhang


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Two decades back, a young Tiger Woods played at the mixed-gender JC Penny Classic in his rookie years. At the onset of December this year, the golf world will see Rose Zhang add that feat to her name during the Grant Thornton Invitation in Florida.

The LPGA rookie star is joining forces with the rising PGA Tour pro Sahith Theegala for the mixed-golf event. The two California natives are a recurring name in the golf world due to their splendid golfing exploits. Theegala is one of the six men who won the collegiate trifecta.


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Meanwhile, Zhang won her debut LPGA event, the Mizuho America’s Open, leaving the golf world in awe. She also had four top-10 finishes out of five major appearances.

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The LPGA prodigy has also made it to the Solheim Cup scheduled for September this year. As if following similar journeys, Zhang will play alongside Nelly Korda, who has also been roped in to play the Grant Thornton Invitational.

Appreciating Rose Zhang’s performance and her splendid hold on golf, Sahith Theegala opened up about his partner for the invitational. “I half jokingly asked her before she even turned pro. Playing chess out here… She’s just such a beast. It’s so impressive how she shuts out all the noise and just plays her game. She goes about her business. She’s a straight baller. She seems like such a hard worker, too….I’m just happy she’s going to be carrying my butt in a few months,”  he said via NUCLR GOLF.

Alongside playing good golf, Theegala also has a knack for recognizing potential golfers. He asked Rose Zhang to be his partner for the invitational while she was still an amateur. Her decorated amateur career and stellar professional debut put her on her way to global stardom. And Theegala definitely wants that energy by his side to bring the Invitational home to California.

The co-sanctioned Grant Thornton Invitational will replace the QBE Shootout by Greg Norman on the PGA Tour schedule. The reimagined event will be televised with nine-hour coverage on Golf Channel and NBC. Aside from Theegala and Zhang, many prominent names are coming together for the competitive golfing event.


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The exciting line-up for the Grant Thornton Invitational

Two of the most loved sister-duos, Nelly Korda and Jessica Korda, are all set to play at the Invitational. While Rickie Fowler is supposed to team up with Jessica Korda, Tony Finau will join hands with the LPGA cover girl.

However, the recent announcement of Jessica Korda’s pregnancy and her break from golf might render some changes in the roster. Another duo that will grace the field are Canadian professionals Corey Conners and Brooke Henderson.


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Both Nelly Korda and Rose Zhang are headliners at the event. Apart from being the biggest names in the LPGA circuit currently, the duo is also gearing up for the Solheim Cup. All eyes will be on the Finca Cortesin Golf Club in Andalucia, Spain, with the matches commencing on September 22.

Watch This Story | Despite parting ways weeks ago 5x LPGA tour winner Michelle Wie West portrayed a stellar display at a Four Seasons establishment

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Written by:

Manya Jain


One take at a time

Manya Jain is a promising golf writer at EssentiallySports. Despite being in her early days, Manya displays a strong passion for golf writing. The majors are Manya's forte, and their in-depth coverage is her creative fueling.
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Edited by:

Sharan Nair