Zhang, Lindblad 2023 Share AGC Women’s Player of the Year Award

Rose Zhang of Irvine and Stanford shares the 2023 AmateurGolf.com Women’s Player of the Year Award with Ingrid Lindblad of Sweden and LSU.

Zhang (pictured right), who also won the award last year, has turned pro and captured the first event she played on the LPGA Tour, additionally claimed the NCAA Championship for the second straight year among several other victories as a sophomore before turning pro.

In five months, Zhang played in seven amateur events, winning six, capped by her victory in the Augusta Women’s Amateur and including a sweep of the NCAA post-season events.

The 20-year-old Zhang, who attended Pacific Academy in Irvine and won numerous amateur events, was awarded Mark H. McCormack Medal as the as the top-ranked women’s amateur golfer in the world for three consecutive years (2020-22).

Zhang, who already is No. 26 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, held the tiles in four of the biggest amateur events — the Augusta Women’s National Amateur, the NCAA Championship, the Women’s World Amateur Team Championship and the Spirit International Amateur — when she turned pro.

Lindblad (pictured left) finished atop the AGC Women’s 2023 standings with 7,100 points, followed by Minsol Kim of Korea with 6,400, while Julia Lopez Ramirez of Spain tied with Zhang at 6,200.

The AmateurGolf.com Women’s Player of the Year Award always goes to the winner of AGC point standings, but this year Zhang could not be overlooked because of what she did early in the season before turning pro.

Lindblad cemented her victory in the points race by winning the second stage of LPGA Tour Qualifying School by four shots over a field of pros and top amateurs. Her performance forced her to make a difficult decision — to turn pro and play in the final stage of the Qualifying School with professional playing opportunities guaranteed, or return to LSU for her fifth year of college.

The 23-year-old Lindblad chose the latter.

“I was talking to my coaches, and I really like it at LSU,” Lindblad said. “Like, our coaches are awesome. This year we have a really good team, so I just want to give it a chance to get another SEC and maybe a national championship.”

Lindblad did something that no player, male or female, had ever done, finishing in the top two of the AGC rankings in four consecutive years, but after three straight runner-up finishes in the points race, she topped the standings for the first time.

Previous winners of AGC Player of the Year Award include Brooke Henderson of Canada, Lydia Ko of New Zealand, Lexi Thompson, Leona Maguire of Ireland, Danielle Kang, Kristen Gillman, Amanda Blumenhurst, Gabriela Ruffels of Australia, Rachel Heck, Jennifer Chang and Stacy Lewis, the first two years in 2006 and 2007.  

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