SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — On Monday, Rose Zhang closed her sophomore year with a victory, capping one of the most dominant college golf seasons of all time. And she’s being rewarded for that superiority again.
For the second straight year, Zhang was named winner of the 2023 ANNIKA Award presented by Stifel, given to the best female golfer in college golf. She’s the third two-time winner, joining Leona Maguire and Maria Fassi, and the second to win back-to-back ANNIKA Awards (Fassi).
“It doesn’t get better than winning the ANNIKA Award,” Zhang said. “To do so again, even though it’s not on the forefront of my mind, it’s something that’s a byproduct of everything I’ve done this year.”
Zhang’s sophomore year was one for the record books. She won an incredible eight times, her victory Monday at the 2023 NCAA Women’s Golf Championship at Grayhawk Golf Club as the feather in the cap. She also captured the Pac-12 Championship and NCAA Pullman Regional and had an NCAA record 68.81 scoring average, besting her 69.68 record from last season.
She also set a new women’s course record at Pebble Beach, shooting 9-under 63 in the season-opening Carmel Cup, which she won. She will tee it up in July at the U.S. Women’s Open at Pebble Beach.
“For me, I went out (this year) on the golf course with a completely different mindset,” Zhang said. “Starting in the fall season and talking with coach (Anne) Walker, I had personal goals in mind about just trying to be the best player I could be.”
The selection is just another impressive milestone in her amateur career. Last month, Zhang captured the 2023 Augusta National Women’s Amateur, and she has spent more weeks at No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking than any other female amateur in history.
This is the third straight year a Stanford golfer has won the ANNIKA Award, with Rachel Heck winning in 2021.
The winner of the ANNIKA Award is selected by college golfers, coaches and members of the college golf media and has been handed out annually since the 2014 season.
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