NAPLES, Fla. — Never before has a player’s “what’s in the bag” rundown been wackier than Rose Zhang’s at this year’s NCAA Championship.
At the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship, Zhang told reporters that teammate Rachel Heck put her rib bone in Zhang’s bag during a practice round in Scottsdale, Arizona. The pair roomed together at NCAAs.
“Safe to say that I didn’t carry it with me throughout the tournament,” said Zhang, “but I can tell you that that rib was in my golf bag for a solid 24 hours. And, yeah, we came back and it was like that’s the most low-key disturbing thing that we could have done with her rib.”
In March, Heck, the 2021 NCAA champion, underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, which involved the removal of her first rib. Heck brought the rib to NCAAs in the jar doctors put it in last spring. She also took it with her to ROTC field training over the summer at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.
The rib is currently in Heck’s room back home in Memphis, but she joked that she might take it back to Stanford for winter quarter and sneak it into Zhang’s bag.
Zhang, of course, went on to clinch a second consecutive NCAA Championship before winning the Mizuho Americas Open in her professional debut.
“I can tell you that she was literally a part of my journey at the NCAAs,” said Zhang with a laugh, “so there was that.”