Rose Zhang said “it doesn’t get any better than winning the Annika Award” as she was crowned as the top female golfer in the NCAA DI college game for the second season running.
Just a day after Zhang successfully defended her individual NCAA title, becoming the first women to win multiple individual honours, she was almost inevitably crowned the best female player in college golf.
“It doesn’t get better than winning the Annika Award,” Zhang said upon receiving the award. “To do so again, even though it’s not on the forefront of my mind, it’s something that’s a by-product of everything I’ve done this year.
“For me, I went out on the golf course with a completely different mindset.
“Starting in the fall season and talking with coach (Anne) Walker, I had personal goals in mind of just trying to become the best player I could be for the team. Throughout the year, I have just grinded. I’ve had competitions with my teammates, and we are all very driven. So, it has been very good for me to have that competitive mindset and really push myself.”
Zhang, the No.1 female amateur in the world, won 12 of her 20 starts to surpass the likes of Patrick Rodgers, Maverick McNealy and even Tiger Woods in the list of wins, male or female, by a Stanford Cardinal.
Zhang’s two wins follow Rachel Heck in 2021 to make it three straight Annika Award winners hailing from Stanford.
“Rose has had one of the best careers in the history of college golf, male or female, culminating this week with capturing back-to-back NCAA individual championships,” said Annika Sorenstam.
“I’ve watched her play at our foundation tournaments and these past two years at Stanford. She has such a bright future ahead of her.
“Golf is in good hands with players like Rose. It validates what we do in celebrating these wonderful young women both on and off the golf course.”
The victory continues a memorable year for the World No.1 women’s amateur after she also won the Augusta National Women’s Amateur in a dramatic playoff over Jenny Bae.
Among her other achievements, Zhang competed in the US Women’s Open in 2019 aged 16. The year after, she claimed her best finish in a Major to date with a tie for 11th in the Chevron Championship. The same year, she won the US Women’s Amateur.