LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. and ST. ANDREWS, SCOTLAND (Aug. 11, 2021) – Rose Zhang, 18, of Irvine, Calif., has won the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the leading female player in the 2021 World Amateur Golf Ranking® / WAGR®. This is her second straight McCormack Medal, having also received the honor last October. Zhang joins Lydia Ko (2011-13), New Zealand, and Leona Maguire (2015-17), of the Republic of Ireland as multiple recipients of the McCormack Medal.
Zhang’s incredible run of golf continued this year when she registered her second USGA title in as many years at the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship in July. She became the eighth player to win both the U.S. Women’s Amateur and U.S. Girls’ Junior titles, but the first to claim the U.S. Women’s Amateur first.
Since receiving the McCormack Medal last October, Zhang has competed in three LPGA major championships, making the cut in the Amundi Evian Championship last month. She missed the cut in the 2020 and 2021 U.S. Women’s Open after tying for 11th in the ANA Inspiration last fall. She also finished third in the 2021 Augusta National Women’s Amateur and earned a runner-up finish in the LPGA Symetra Tour’s Carlisle Arizona Women’s Golf Classic. She has spent 47 straight weeks as the No. 1 player in the world.
“To receive any award with the USGA and The R&A’s names on it is incredible, so to have it happen a second time is both rewarding and humbling,” said Zhang. “The work I’ve put into my game over the past few years has truly been paying off, and I am so grateful to all who have supported me along the way. I look forward to continuing to reach new heights as I take my game to the collegiate level.”
Zhang, who will compete at the 2021 AIG Women’s Open and for the USA Team in the Curtis Cup Match in Wales later this month, will begin her freshman season at Stanford University in the fall. One of the most decorated junior golfers of all time, she is a two-time winner of the Rolex Tournament of Champions, won the 2020 Rolex Girls Junior Championship and the 2020 Ping Invitational, and is a two-time AJGA Player of the Year.
The USGA and The R&A 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.
“On behalf of our entire organization, I’d like to congratulate Rose on this incredible achievement,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director, Championships. “Her play over the last two years has put her in a league of her own, and she has shown she is not only a champion on the course, but off it as well. We cannot wait to continue to watch her career grow for years to come.”
Professor Steve Otto, Chief Technology Officer at The R&A, said, “Rose has demonstrated a remarkable level of consistency in her results achieved over the last two years, which has led to her excelling as the world’s leading women’s amateur golfer for a second successive year. Her performances show that she is a worthy recipient of the McCormack Medal and we would like to congratulate her on this fantastic achievement.”
The World Amateur Golf Ranking, which is supported by Rolex, was established in 2007 when the men’s ranking was launched. The men’s ranking encompasses nearly 2,900 counting events, ranking 7,309 players from 117 countries. The women’s ranking was launched in 2011 and has a calendar of around 1,900 counting events with more than 3,830 ranked players from 88 countries.
The World Amateur Golf Ranking® / WAGR®, which comprises a women’s ranking and a men’s ranking for elite amateur players, is offered by The R&A and the USGA as a global service to golf. Through incorporation and assessment worldwide of both amateur and professional events, WAGR encourages the international development of the competitive game. The ranking endeavors to be the most comprehensive and accurate ranking in golf by effectively comparing players from around the world who may never directly compete against one another. It is available to national federations and organizers of amateur and professional events and tours as a criterion for tournament field selection and for purposes of exemptions, national team selection, and orders of merit.
About The Mark H. McCormack Medal
The award is named after Mark H. McCormack, the late founder of sports marketing company IMG and an avid supporter of amateur golf. The Mark H. McCormack Medal is awarded to the player ranked number one in the World Amateur Golf Ranking® / WAGR® after the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship or the European Ladies’ Amateur Championship, whichever concludes last. Established in 2007, the same award goes to the player leading the men’s ranking after the European Amateur Championship or U.S. Amateur Championship, whichever concludes last.
Men: 2020 Takumi Kanaya (JAP), 2019 Cole Hammer (USA), 2018 Braden Thornberry (USA), 2017 Joaquin Niemann (Chile), 2016 Maverick McNealy (USA), 2015 Jon Rahm (ESP), 2014 Oliver Schniederjans (USA), 2013 Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG), 2012 Chris Williams (USA), 2011 Patrick Cantlay (USA), 2010 Peter Uihlein (USA), 2009 Nick Taylor (CAN), 2008 Danny Lee (NZL), 2007 Colt Knost (USA).
Women: 2020 Rose Zhang (USA), 2019 Andrea Lee (USA), 2018 Jennifer Kupcho (USA), 2017, 2016, 2015 Leona Maguire (IRE), 2014 Minjee Lee (AUS), 2013, 2012, 2011 Lydia Ko (NZL).
About the USGA
The USGA is a nonprofit organization that celebrates, serves and advances the game of golf. Founded in 1894, we conduct many of golf’s premier professional and amateur championships, including the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open. With The R&A, we govern the sport via a global set of playing, equipment, handicapping and amateur status rules. The USGA campus in Liberty Corner, New Jersey, is home to the Association’s Research and Test Center, where science and innovation are fueling a healthy and sustainable game for the future. The campus is also home to the USGA Golf Museum, where we honor the game by curating the world’s most comprehensive archive of golf artifacts. To learn more, visit usga.org.
About The R&A
Based in St Andrews, The R&A runs The Open, elite amateur events, international matches and rankings. Together The R&A and the USGA govern the sport of golf worldwide, operating in separate jurisdictions but sharing a commitment to a single code for the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status and Equipment Standards. The R&A, through R&A Rules Ltd, governs the sport worldwide, outside of the United States and Mexico, on behalf of over 36 million golfers in 143 countries and with the consent of 158 organisations from amateur and professional golf,
The R&A is committed to working for golf and supports the growth of the sport internationally and the development and management of sustainable golf facilities.
For more information visit randa.org