America’s Rose Zhang has won the Mark H McCormack Medal as the leading women’s player in the 2020 World Amateur Golf Ranking.
The R&A and the USGA co-award the McCormack Medal annually. It is named after Mark H McCormack, who founded sports marketing company IMG and was a great supporter of amateur golf. The McCormack Medal winner receives exemptions into the AIG Women’s Open at Carnoustie and the US Women’s Open at The Olympic Club in 2021.
The Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking was launched in 2011 and has a calendar of around 2,000 counting events with more than 3,375 ranked players from 78 countries.
Zhang, 17, pipped Yu-Chiang Hou as the number one player in the ranking thanks to a run of excellent results following the return to golf this year, which has been disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The American recovered from a pre-championship wrist injury to go on to win the US Women’s Amateur Championship at Woodmont Country Club in August, defeating defending champion Gabi Ruffels after two extra holes in the second-longest match in the championship’s history.
Two weeks later, she won Rolex Girls Junior Championship at Dalhousie Golf Club, Missouri, setting a course record with a first round 64 on the way to a winning 15-under-par total of 273, six shots ahead of the chasing pack.
Zhang earned the low amateur award in the ANA Inspiration at Mission Hills Country Club last month after finishing in a tie for 11th place at the women’s major championship. Her final total of 280 was the lowest 72-hole score ever by an amateur, beating the previous best set by Caroline Keggi in 1988 and Michelle Wie in 2004.
The result moved Zhang ahead of Hou in the WAGR standings for the first time this year and she becomes the third consecutive American winner of the Women’s McCormack Medal following Jennifer Kupcho (2018) and Andrea Lee (2019).
Zhang, who lives in California, said: “To win the McCormack Medal and join a list of such prestigious winners is such an incredible accomplishment and blessing. Over the past couple months, I’ve really persevered to better myself in all aspects of my golf game and physical condition. Receiving this award is continued validation that hard work pays off and it motivates me to continue this journey. It reignites my passion and love for this amazing sport.”