Oct 8th, 2020
Rose Zhang awarded Mark H. McCormack Medal
American is world's leading female amateur golfer
Words: GolfPunk Photography: R&A
The McCormack Medal winner receives exemptions into the 2021 U.S. Women’s Open at The Olympic Club as well as the 2021 AIG Women’s Open at Carnoustie.
Zhang, 17, edged out Yu-Chiang Hou, of Chinese Taipei, as the No. 1 player in the WAGR thanks to incredible performances in the return to golf after disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Zhang recovered from a pre-championship wrist injury to go on to win the 120th U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md., in August, defeating defending champion Gabriela Ruffels in 38 holes, the second-longest final match in championship history.
Two weeks later, she emerged victorious in the Rolex Girls Junior Championship at Dalhousie Golf Club, setting a course record with a first-round 64 on the way to a 15-under-par total of 273, six shots ahead of her closest rival.
Zhang earned low-amateur honours at the ANA Inspiration last month, finishing in a tie for 11th place at the major championship. Her final total of 280 was the lowest 72-hole score ever by an amateur, beating the previous best of 281 by Caroline Keggi in 1988 and Michelle Wie in 2004.
The result moved Zhang ahead of Hou in the WAGR standings for the first time this year. She becomes the third consecutive American winner of the women’s McCormack Medal following Jennifer Kupcho (2018) and Andrea Lee (2019).
In 2019, Zhang won the Toyota Junior World Cup, Swinging Skirts AJGA Invitational and Rolex Tournament of Champions and represented the United States of America in the Junior Solheim Cup at Gleneagles and the Pan-American Games.
“To win the McCormack Medal and join a list of such prestigious winners is such an incredible accomplishment and blessing,” said Zhang. “Over the past couple of months, I’ve really persevered to better myself in all aspects of my golf game and physical condition. Receiving this award is continued validation that hard work pays off and it motivates me to continue this journey. It reignites my passion and love for this amazing sport.”