Jersey City, NJ, – On the heels of becoming the first female golfer to ever win back-to-back NCAA Individual Championships, the #1 ranked amateur in the world, Rose Zhang, has announced that she will be turning professional and has accepted a sponsor exemption in the Mizuho Americas Open, where she will make her professional debut from May 31 – June 4 at the iconic Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, NJ.
The three-time McCormack Medal winner left the amateur ranks having held the top position in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking for a record 141 consecutive weeks, dating back to September 2020. Zhang, who received the 2022 and 2023 Annika Award as the nation’s top female collegiate golfer, set the NCAA scoring average record at 68.70 this season, surpassing the previous record that she set last year by nearly a full stroke. She established herself as a champion at the biggest events in the sport, including victories at the 2020 U.S. Women’s Amateur, 2021 U.S. Girls’ Junior and 2023 Augusta National Women’s Amateur. Her 12 titles in NCAA competition, earned in just 20 collegiate starts, are the most in Stanford history, besting Tiger Woods, Patrick Rodgers, and Maverick McNealy by one.
“Rose is one of the greatest amateur golfers in the history of the sport – male or female – and we are thrilled to welcome her into our field as she makes her professional debut at the Mizuho Americas Open,” said Jerry Rizzieri, President & CEO, Mizuho Securities USA. “With her history as a two-time AJGA Rolex Player of the Year, she is the perfect example of how juniors can rise through the ranks to compete with the best professionals in the world, and we can’t wait for her to begin her journey to the LPGA right here at Liberty National.”
Further bolstering the field, New Jersey’s Megha Ganne, a Stanford Women’s Golf teammate of Zhang, has also received a sponsor exemption. The two players will join an elite field headlined by Brooke Henderson, Lydia Ko and 7 of the top 10 players in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. Ganne, a Freshman at Stanford and the 2021 AJGA (American Junior Golf Association) Rolex Player of the Year, put the golf world on notice during her incredible run at the 2021 US Women’s Open as a 17-year-old Holmdel High School junior, where she played in the final group on Sunday and finished as low amateur.
“Megha is the perfect addition to our field, as she is a former junior standout who has transitioned seamlessly to the college game,” said Caila Roberts, Tournament Director at Excel Sports Management. “This tournament is a true ‘home game’ for her, as she grew up not far from Liberty National, and we are excited to welcome her home to compete in this groundbreaking event.”
To complement Zhang and Ganne being added to one of strongest fields on the LPGA Tour, 24 of the top 26 juniors in the Rolex AJGA Girls Rankings, including New Jersey’s Top-Ranked Junior Golfer, Katie Li, (Basking Ridge), will also be competing at Liberty National, as the Mizuho Americas Open will concurrently host an AJGA Invitational.
LPGA Tour icon Michelle Wie West will serve as Tournament Host and Mizuho Americas Brand Ambassador, as the multi-year agreement between the LPGA, Mizuho Americas, and Liberty National marks the global bank’s first entry into sports sponsorship in the U.S. To further demonstrate Mizuho’s commitment as a new title sponsor, Zhang, Ganne and each participating LPGA Tour player will be provided complimentary first-class lodging just across the river in NYC during tournament week, along with daily ferry service that will shuttle players directly to the clubhouse steps at Liberty National.
The Mizuho Americas Open is one of the largest non-Major Championship purses on the LPGA Tour and provides junior golfers a first-of-its-kind opportunity to compete alongside the LPGA’s top professionals for an unprecedented week of education and access.
Several ticket options are available, including general admission for $35 that provides access to the tournament grounds any day Wednesday through Sunday (May 31 – June 4), and a 5-day pass for $125. Veterans, first responders, active military, and juniors 17 and under receive FREE general admission. Corporate hospitality packages are available and include a selection of premium food and beverage options, along with preferred parking. Hospitality packages are also available for individuals and corporations seeking the ultimate entertainment experience.
For information on ticket sales and corporate hospitality please visit www.mizuhoamericasopen.com. Follow @MizuhoLPGA on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for the latest news on the event.
Mizuho Financial Group, Inc. is the 15th largest bank in the world as measured by total assets of ~$2 trillion, according to S&P Global 2022. Mizuho’s 60,000 employees worldwide offer comprehensive financial services to clients in 35 countries and 800 offices throughout the Americas, EMEA and Asia.
Mizuho Americas is the fastest growing region within the Mizuho Financial Group and is a leading provider of corporate and investment banking services to clients in the US, Canada and Latin America. Its capabilities span investment and corporate banking, capital markets, equity and fixed income sales & trading, derivatives, FX, custody and research. Mizuho Americas employs 3,000 professionals across 15 offices within the Americas.
The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) is the world’s premier women’s professional golf organization. Created in 1950 by 13 pioneering female Founders, the LPGA, whose members now represent over 60 countries, is the longest-standing professional women’s sports organization. Through the LPGA Tour, the Epson Tour, a joint venture with the Ladies European Tour and the LPGA Professionals, the LPGA provides female professionals the opportunity to pursue their dreams in the game of golf at the highest level. In addition to its professional tours and teaching accreditation programs, the LPGA features a fully integrated Foundation, which offers best-in-class programming for female golfers through its junior golf programming and LPGA Amateurs chapters, tournaments and membership. LPGA aims to use its unique platform to inspire, transform and advance opportunities for girls and women, on and off the golf course.
Follow the LPGA online at www.LPGA.com and on its mobile apps. Join the social conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
The LPGA Tour is the world’s leading competitive destination for the best female professional golfers in the world. The Tour hosts more than 30 annual events across 12 countries and regions for over 200 Active Players, awarding total prize funds exceeding $100 million and reaching television audiences in more than 220 countries. Follow the LPGA Tour on its U.S. television home, Golf Channel.
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