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Rose Zhang becomes first to win back-to-back NCAA women’s golf titles

Caroline Sturdza, Rose Zhang (center) and Rachel Heck of the Stanford Cardinal walk off the 18th green after the final round of the NCAA championship. (Justin Tafoya/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Rose Zhang is proving herself to be among best amateurs to grace the game of golf.

The Stanford sophomore won her second consecutive national title at the NCAA championships Monday, becoming the first women’s golfer to win multiple national titles and tying the NCAA record for wins in a season.

Not even all-time great Lorena Ochoa reached the same heights during her own very successful collegiate career at Arizona.

“I was really fortunate to play at the same time as Lorena Ochoa and I felt her greatness was unmatched,” Stanford coach Anne Walker said. “Rose Zhang really reminds me a lot of Lorena.”

Her second NCAA championship is just another trophy that Zhang can add to her shelf, which already includes the 2020 U.S. Women’s Amateur title, the 2021 U.S. Girls’ Junior title and the 2023 Augusta National Women’s Amateur title.

Zhang shot a 4-under 68 in the final round to clinch the victory. She finished at 10-under 278 over the course of 72 holes, tying Ochoa’s NCAA records for wins in a season (eight) and in a career (12). Her 12 wins also breaks the record at Stanford for men’s and women’s golfers, which had been held by Tiger Woods and three others.

Zhang had to come from behind on the final day, starting four shots back of the lead. But a bogey-free round helped propel Zhang to the title.

“When you’re chasing from behind, you really don’t know what is happening until everything’s completed,” Zhang said. “To come off of 18 and everyone saying you just won, that’s something that I wouldn’t really have imagined starting out the day.”