Zhang stays at top in Augusta National Women’s Amateur

Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 9:15 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 30, 2023 at 6:58 PM EDT
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EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Another day, another record broken by Rose Zhang at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.

Ranked No. 1 in the world, on Thursday she bested the 18-hole championship record she set the day before by one stroke, scoring a seven-under 65.

Zhang had a strong start Thursday in the second round with three birdies in the first four holes at Champions Retreat. Then she added a 30-foot eagle on the par-five ninth hole.

And she finished strong, again at the top of the leader board with a 131 for the tournament – 13 under par.

“I’m just going to try my best to bring out the best that I can do when I’m going out there and playing at Augusta, and I think that every hole, every score matters,” she said. “With that, I’m just going to play as hard as I can and try the best that I can.”

In the No. 2 spot was Andrea Lignell from Sweden at 136 – eight under par – and at No. 3 is the University of Georgia’s Jenny Bae at 147 – seven under par.

Thirty-one players made the cut, which fell at two-over 146. They’ll move on to the final round Saturday at Augusta National Golf Club. But even those who didn’t make the cut will get to play a practice round there Friday.

For the first time, participants from Canada, Colombia and Chinese Taipei advanced to the final round. They include Canada’s Monet Chun (T-6), Colombia’s Maria Jose Marin (T-9) and Chinese Taipei’s Hsin-Yu Lu (T-4) and Ting-Hsuan Huang (T-21). The youngest player in the field, 15-year-old Gianna Clemente, will also advance to the final round in her debut and sits T-9 through 36 holes.

Zhang, a 19-year-old Stanford sophomore, remains humble despite her dominating role in the sport.

“I’m super-blessed,” she said. “I feel like to even be in this field is an opportunity for me to grow as a player and a person. Just watching all my friends compete and watching such great golfers on a daily basis.”


And she feels she hasn’t gotten here on her own.

“It’s not just me that kind of did this. I feel like everyone who supports me out there. I really felt the support. I really felt the love,” she said. “So I was kind of just staying in the zone doing my own thing, but I had a whole entourage in the back of my head.”

Among those people is her father, who’s been her caddy at Champions Retreat. But she said going into the final round, she’ll be using an Augusta caddy.She’s not letting herself get too comfortable, way out in front.

“I think playing with a big lead is certainly different from chasing from behind or even being one or two shots in the lead,” she said. “It’s just very important to understand that you have a whole field kind of chasing you, and anything can happen.”


Lignell was amazingly calm on Thursday, she said.

“I was definitely way more nervous yesterday,” she said. “When I woke up this morning, I just thought to have the same mindset as yesterday, just go out there and have fun and don’t put too much pressure on myself.”

To keep herself calm, she tries to focus on things other than the game when she’s between rounds.

“I’m just trying to do other things than just talk about golf or did something related to golf. I mean, I am still in school, so I do have a lot of school, so I try to occupy myself with homework or stuff, as well,” she said.


Bae is confident as she heads to Augusta National.

“I think I’ll just keep the same momentum and the same thing I’ve always worked on, just a little bit of putting tomorrow morning and have a good practice round and just tee it up,” she said.

But she’s not overly confident.

“I definitely feel a bit more comfortable just because it’s in my home state,” she said, “but it’s Augusta National, so I’ll feel just the same pressure and amount of stress as any other player.”

No matter what, Zhang is the one the others will be chasing after on Saturday.

She’s already won the Mark H. McCormack medal as the No. 1 amateur for the past three years and has taken the U.S. Women’s Amateur and the NCAA titles.

But she hasn’t yet won the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.

This could be her year.

“No matter what happens,” she said, “I’m always super-proud of everything that I’ve accomplished thus far.”