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Former Stanford star Rose Zhang leads 2023 Mizuho Americas Open in LPGA pro debut

On Sunday a once-in-a-generation talent will prepare to do something that hasn’t been done on the LPGA since 1951.

A former star at Stanford coming off a title defense at the 2023 NCAA Championship just 13 days ago, 20-year-old Rose Zhang is making her pro debut this week at the 2023 Mizuho Americas Open and holds a two-shot lead entering the final round.

Zhang fired a 6-under 66 on Saturday at Liberty National in Jersey City, New Jersey, to rise to 11 under, two shots clear of Atthaya Thitikul (68), Aditi Ashok (68) and Cheyenne Knight (70). Minjee Lee sits fifth at 7 under.

“I think it’s just great to be in that position. It just shows that leading up to the last three days you’ve been doing a great job at playing your best on the golf course,” she said after her round. “And I think that for me, I’ve been in this position before, but I haven’t been in this position as a professional, since this is my first week, so I’m really just learning everything that I could. Tomorrow, I’ll be just trying to figure out what it feels like to be in the final group, navigate my way through, and I’m sure by the end of the day I’ll be able to, you know, just build my character more.”

The LPGA has been starved for a new American star, and Zhang is just 18 holes away from stepping into the spotlight.

Final round coverage starts Sunday at 3:30 pm ET on Peacock, then live TV coverage takes over on Golf Channel at 5 pm ET.

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Story originally appeared on GolfWeek