August 11, 2021 – AmateurGolf.com
Rose Zhang, 18, of Irvine, Calif., has won the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the leading female player in the 2021 World Amateur Golf Ranking® / WAGR®. This is her second straight McCormack Medal, having also received the honor last October. Zhang joins Lydia Ko (2011-13), of New Zealand, and Leona Maguire (2015-17), of the Republic of Ireland, as multiple recipients of the McCormack Medal.
Other previous winners include Americans Andrea Lee (2019) and Jennifer Kupcho (2018), and Minjee Lee (2014), of Australia.
Zhang’s incredible run of golf continued this year when she registered her second USGA title in as many years at the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship in July, defeating Bailey Davis, 6 and 4, in the 36-hole final at Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Md. She became the eighth player to win both the U.S. Women’s Amateur and U.S. Girls’ Junior titles, but the first to claim the U.S. Women’s Amateur first. In August of 2020, Zhang defeated defending champion Gabriela Ruffels in 38 holes to win the U.S. Women’s Amateur at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md.
Since receiving the McCormack Medal last October, Zhang has competed in three LPGA major championships, making the cut in the Amundi Evian Championship last month. She missed the cut in the 2020 and 2021 U.S. Women’s Opens after tying for 11th and earning low-amateur honors in the ANA Inspiration last September. She also tied for third in the 2021 Augusta National Women’s Amateur in August and earned a runner-up finish in the LPGA Symetra Tour’s Carlisle Arizona Women’s Golf Classic in March. She has spent 47 straight weeks as the No. 1 player in the world.
“To receive any award with the USGA and The R&A’s names on it is incredible, so to have it happen a second time is both rewarding and humbling,” said Zhang. “The work I’ve put into my game over the past few years has truly been paying off, and I am so grateful to all who have supported me along the way. I look forward to continuing to reach new heights as I take my game to the collegiate level.”
Zhang, who will compete at the 2021 AIG Women’s Open and for the USA Team in the Curtis Cup Match in Wales later this month, will begin her freshman season at Stanford University in the fall. One of the most decorated junior golfers of all time, she is a two-time winner of the Rolex Tournament of Champions, won the 2020 Rolex Girls Junior Championship and the 2020 Ping Invitational, and is a two-time AJGA Player of the Year.
The USGA and The R&A co-award the McCormack Medal annually. It is named after Mark H. McCormack, who founded sports marketing company IMG and was a great supporter of amateur golf.
“On behalf of our entire organization, I’d like to congratulate Rose on this incredible achievement,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director, Championships. “Her play over the last two years has put her in a league of her own, and she has shown she is not only a champion on the course, but off it as well. We cannot wait to continue to watch her career grow for years to come.”
Professor Steve Otto, Chief Technology Officer at The R&A, said, “Rose has demonstrated a remarkable level of consistency in her results over the last two years, which has led to her excelling as the world’s leading women’s amateur golfer for a second successive year. Her performances show that she is a worthy recipient of the McCormack Medal and we would like to congratulate her on this fantastic achievement.”
The World Amateur Golf Ranking, which is supported by Rolex, was established in 2007 when the men’s ranking was launched. The men’s ranking encompasses nearly 2,900 counting events, ranking 7,309 players from 117 countries. The women’s ranking was launched in 2011 and has a calendar of around 1,900 counting events with more than 3,830 ranked players from 88 countries.