Rose blossoms on pro golf circuit

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New professional Rose Zhang became the first women’s golfer to win her opening pro tournament in 70 years – and she gave God the glory.

The 20-year-old only stepped up from the amateur ranks in May, but immediately bagged the Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey.

The first debut LPGA Tour triumph since 1951 was secured with a nerveless, second-hole play-off win over Jennifer Kupcho.

The two-time national champion and US Women’s Amateur champ said she didn’t even think she’d make the cut, before hitting a six-under 66 and a two-over 74 to set up the Kupcho head-to-head.

“I’m so blessed,” said Zhang. “I feel like I’ve been given this platform to try to do the best I can, be an influence to younger generations, and that’s all I think about.”

She added: “I really wanted to have an identity outside golf because sometimes, as an athlete, it takes a toll on you if you think that golf is your whole world. For me, I realised that being Christian is very much my identity.

“That allows me to go out there and realise that I’m just a vessel trying to do her own thing, and I’m doing it for the glory of God.”

Zhang was baptised in June and regularly includes the hashtag #allglorytogod on her posts on Instagram, where her bio lists Romans 12:2: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Despite a superb amateur record of 12 wins from 20 tournaments, Zhang is determined to keep her eyes on spiritual success after turning pro. 

She said: “Always working to become better as a child of God is something I’ve been trying to work on and will continue to work on throughout my whole life.”

Zhang made the cut in six of her first eight pro tournaments, including four finishes in the top ten, earning more than $1 million. Such a strong performance has already propelled her to the number 26 ranking in the world.

From New Life Newspaper issue 350

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