CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Rose Zhang of Irvine, California, broke the amateur course record at Dalhousie Golf Club with a score of 8-under-par 64. Zhang holds the first-round lead at the Rolex Girls Junior Championship by five strokes.
She had a bogey-free round including birdies on Nos. 17 and 18 to give her a commanding lead and beat the amateur course record previously held by Abbey Carlson by one stroke.
I really didn't have any idea that I shot the course record until after I finished No. 18. Coming into this week I was still feeling the aftermath of last week's U.S. Women's Am. I was just trying to go out there and play as best as I can. Turns out I had a really good run and overall I barely made any mistakes on the course.
As the No. 1 player in the Rolex AJGA Rankings and reigning Rolex Junior Player of the Year, Zhang is looking for her second AJGA win of the season. She won the 2019 Rolex Tournament of Champions in November and placed T3 at the 2020 ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex in January.
7 wins and counting. The reigning @rolex Junior Player of the Year is back in the field at #RolexGirls pic.twitter.com/zTgjNdg7yq— AJGA (@AJGAGolf) August 17, 2020
Zhang's national junior golf resume also includes a win at the 2020 U.S. Women's Amateur last week at Woodmont Country Club.
The Rolex Girls Junior Championship is such a prestigious event. I love coming back every year, this week is something truly special.
Hallie Kuhns of Austin, Texas, and Paula Miranda of Puebla, Mexico, finished the first round tied for second with a score of 3-under-par 69. Tied for fourth, Kynadie Adams of Gallatin, Tennessee, and Vania Simont of CDMX, Mexico, are one stroke back from Kuhns at 2-under-par 70.
Five players are T6 with a score of 1-under-par 71:
- Katie Li of Basking Ridge, New Jersey
- Bohyun Park of (South Korea) Farmers Branch, Texas
- Brooke Rivers of Brampton, Ontario
- Catherine Rao of Camarillo, California
- Reagan Zibilski of Springfield, Missouri
About the Rolex Girls Junior Championship
The 29th Rolex Girls Junior Championship takes place August 17-21 in Cape Girardeau, Mo. The all-girls invitational brings the top-ranked junior golfers in the world to compete at Dalhousie Golf Club for a 72-hole, stroke-play tournament.
Since 1992, the competition brings together one of the strongest fields in junior golf. The 2020 event includes 11 of the top 20 girls in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. Representatives from seven foreign countries and 22 U.S. states are set to compete in one of the AJGA’s most iconic all-girls events.
The 2020 Rolex Girls Junior Championship field is highlighted by 13 Rolex Junior All-Americans and 41 AJGA champions, including 15 players with wins this year. Of the 72 total girls competing, 21 players have committed verbally or with a National Letter of Intent to play college golf.
Rolex Girls Junior Championship History
The Rolex Girls Junior Championship has occurred annually since 1992, changing host venues each year. Noteworthy courses include: LPGA International – Champions and Legends Course (2002-2005), Long Cove Club (2010), The Country Club of North Carolina – Dogwood Course (2015), and Promontory Club – Dye Canyon Course (2018).
Dalhousie Golf Club also hosted the 2013 Rolex Girls Junior Championship, crowning current LPGA Tour player Alison Lee as the champion with a score of 7-under-par 281. Lee went on to win the 2013 Rolex Tournament of Champions and was also named the 2013 Rolex Junior Player of the Year in her last year of junior golf before starting her stand-out college career at UCLA.
Past champions of the Rolex Girls Junior Championship include an AJGA all-star cast: Rachel Heck (2017), Alison Lee (2013), Ariya Jutanugarn (2012, 2011), Morgan Pressel (2005), Paula Creamer (2003), and Inbee Park (2002).
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