(Jersey City) Two-time NCAA champion Rose Zhang became the first golfer in 72 years to win a title in her LPGA Tour debut.
Zhang pared the second overtime hole against Jennifer Kupcho and won the Mizuho Open on Sunday.
The last player to win on her professional debut was Beverly Hanson, who edged out Babe Zaharias to win the Eastern Open in 1951.
Zhang shot 74 (plus 2) in the final round. She squandered a tournament-winning opportunity on the 72nd and final hole when she missed a putt from eight feet away, having made at least six big saves in the final round.
The 20-year-old Stanford University player hit a nearly identical eight-foot putt on the 18th hole of the Liberty National course on the first hole of overtime. Kupcho, who won an NCAA title at Wake Forest in 2018, turned in a 69 and also had a par on the first overtime hole.
Both players hit the fairway at the 18th flag, on the second overtime hole, but Zhang hit her approach from the fairway less than 10 feet from the cup. Kupcho was short in her approach. His first putt went just over the back edge of the green and his second putt just missed. That left Zhang with two putts to win.
Zhang held her face in surprise after the winning move and was later mobbed and rewarded with bouquets of roses.
Zhang, who is considered the most high-profile player to join the tour since Michelle Wie in 2009, didn’t have a birdie in her last round and showed a cumulative score of minus 9.
Brooke M. Henderson was the highest-ranked Canadian in the tournament, tied for 33rd. Fellow Canadian Maddie Szeryk tied for 49th.