Thirteen year old, Rose Zhang, who was named to the 2016 Rolex Junior All-America Team, reached the quarterfinals of the Polo Golf Junior Classic. This invitational is the final event of the 2016 season that bring’s together the best of the best, 78 Girls and 78 Boys, from around the world, to compete at the PGA National Resort & Spa, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
The format for the Polo JC, is 2 rounds of stroke play that will determine a cut line for the top 32 finishers that will qualify for the match play portion of the event. The 2016 Champion will be decided by match play.
Rose Zhang, shot a first round 34-36 (70) to finish in a tie for 2nd place. Rose led for a portion of the opening round, but a bogey on the 18th hole dropped her into a tie for second place. She was a stroke behind the leader, Youngin Chun from Gainesville, Fla., who shot a 69. Rose had 5 birdies, a bogey and a double bogey for her -2 under par 70.
A second round 73 (+1) dropped Rose, into a tie for 7th place, qualifying her for the match play portion. Rose had 3 birdies, and 4 bogies in her 2nd round of stroke play.
Rose with her two All-American friend’s, Cindy Kou (left) and Monet Chun (right)
In the opening round of match play, Rose was matched up with Kanyanat Saithip from Nakhonratchasima, Thailand. Rose won the match 3 & 2. In the Round of 16, Rose, beat Anne Chen (Australia) Sugar Land, Texas 1 -up. The win over Chen, would pair Rose against the Rolex #1 ranked player, Papangkorn Tavatanakit from Thailand. Rose, was 3 down after 5 hole’s and it looked like it was going to be a difficult day for the young player from Irvine, CA. But, the tenacious, just named All-American had some fight in her when she made back-to-back birdies on 8 and 9 going from 3 down to 1 down. Rose and Paphangkorn made par on 10 and Rose, and then made birdie on 11 to even the match at all square with 5 holes to go. Rose could not keep up the pressure on the #1 player and lost hole’s 13 and 14 to go 2 down. Paphangkorn won the match 3 & 2 to advance to the semifinals. Paphangkorn is 17 and 4 year’s older than Rose.
In a conversation with her coach, after the round, Rose, said she did not play well in the quarterfinals, but that she was happy with her overall performance at the event. Her goal was to qualify for the match play. As the record shows, Rose Zhang, underestimated her ability.
The Junior Golf Scoreboard has Rose ranked as the #1 ranked 13 year old and #19 ranked in all age’s 12-18 in the United States. Polo has her ranked 27th in the United States, age’s 12-18.
Rose Zhang’s All-American honors