As She Competes at $2,750,000 Event, Golf Phenom Rose Zhang Impresses Former Prodigy and LPGA Legend Michelle Wie West

Published 06/01/2023, 1:44 PM EDT

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Talent recognizes talent, or in the case of Michelle Wie West, one prodigy recognizes another. The LPGA legend is, without a doubt, one of the most talented prodigies in the history of golf. Back in 2000, a 10-year-old West became the youngest player ever to qualify for a USGA amateur championship. At age 14, despite failing to make the cut, she gave tough competition to many of the world’s top men players at the Sony Open.

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Now, as West turns host with the inaugural edition of Mizuho Americas Open, she couldn’t help but heap praise on golf’s current phenom, Rose Zhang. Here is how the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open winner reacted to Zhang’s stunning achievements!

Rose Zhang wows LPGA legend Michelle Wie West

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20-year-old Rose Zhang has truly become a force to be reckoned with. Just days ago, she successfully defended her NCAA National Championship crown, becoming the first-ever women’s golfer to do so. With 12 wins in her bag, she further tied with Lorena Ochoa for most NCAA career victories. In doing so, she also set a Stanford University benchmark for wins, breaking the 11-wins record held by four Stanford alums, one of whom is none other than Tiger Woods.

Last week, after spending a jaw-dropping 141 weeks as a top-ranked amateur, Zhang announced to the world that she would be officially turning pro. Consequently, she made her debut at the ongoing Mizuho Americas Open, which LPGA great Michelle Wie West is hosting.

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On Wednesday, West even took to her Instagram to give a shout-out to Zhang. Sharing a post by @lpga_tour, which listed many of the young golfer’s unbelievable records, she wrote, “Let’s gooo @rosezhang.” The 33-year-old’s praise will definitely boost the Stanford golf star’s confidence, especially since West herself was able to turn many of her early feats into a successful career on the LPGA Tour.

The Mizuho Americas Open is currently underway at the Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, New Jersey. A brand-new event on the LPGA Tour, the tournament features a 120-player field headlined by many of the biggest names in golf.

The field and winner’s payout at Mizuho Americas Open

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On Thursday, a new LPGA Tour event kicked off at the famed Liberty National Golf Course, with former major winner Michelle Wie West serving as the host. The field at the event is a highly competitive one, with seven of the top 10 players on the Rolex Rankings among the competing golfers. LPGA’s Jin Young Ko, whose Founders Cup win helped her return to World No. 1, is among the favorites to win the event. The 2023 Chevron Championship winner and World No. 4 Lilia Vu is also vying to register another win this season. Meanwhile, World No. 3 Lydia Ko will be hoping to bounce back into form after a string of forgettable performances.

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The event also features a unique twist as AJGA (American Junior Golf Association) juniors will be simultaneously playing a 72-hole event. Additionally, the Mizuho Americas Open boasts an incredible $2,750,000 prize purse. The eventual winner will take home $412,500 in earnings!

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Watch This Story: LPGA Star Slams the Door Shut in Unexpected Fashion to Possibly Her Biggest Fan

How do you think Rose Zhang will fare at the Mizuho Americas Open? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by:

Abantika Ghosh

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Abantika is a fresh writer at EssentiallySports who was chosen in the recent round of ‘ES Draft’ for her strong passion for golf writing. Even in her early days, Abantika has displayed an impressive ability to cover golf with gripping and insightful stories backed by thorough research. Her inspiration comes from the words of the legendary golfer and flag-bearer of the PGA Tour, Rory McIlroy: "As long as I keep enjoying my golf, then hopefully I'll be able to play well," which motivates her to continue writing engaging pieces.
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Edited by:

Manaal Siddiqui

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