U.S. Women's Amateur Championship

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Rockville, Maryland, USA

Woodmont Country Club

Rose Zhang

Quick Quotes

ROSE ZHANG: It helped out a lot because it just helped boost my confidence to just keep persevering throughout the round, and it made me feel assured that I can play out here confidently and aggressively.

Q. Was there maybe even a little bit more pressure now that you're in the semifinals than before, or do you just treat it like any other match?

ROSE ZHANG: To be honest I feel like it's less pressure because I'm super satisfied with how far I've come since U.S. Women's Amateur is such a prestigious event. Making it this far makes me feel accomplished as a golfer, so it made me feel assured that I can just keep playing my game and just keep striving to try to make birdies against my opponent.

Q. What part of your game today were you happiest with?

ROSE ZHANG: I think it was just my overall performance. Yesterday I had a little rough long game, but today I kind of brought it back, and my swing was feeling a little better as a whole, and I just maintained my same mentality throughout the week, and that's that.

Q. Having your father caddie for you, has he done it before a bunch of times?

ROSE ZHANG: Yeah, he's done it a bunch of times. He actually caddied for me at the U.S. Women's Open and a couple LPGA events, so having him on the bag, he knows what he's doing, and we know what -- I know what I'm doing, so it just works out.

Q. How about your thoughts playing against Gabi as the defending champion tomorrow?

ROSE ZHANG: Yeah, it's honestly surreal because I actually watched her last year win this Women's Amateur, and it just makes me feel so honored to play with her since she's such an amazing player and an amazing person. I'm just going to go out there and have fun tomorrow and try my best.

Q. I noticed on your event tour you were in Taiwan to play?


Q. Was that your first time there or had you been there before?

ROSE ZHANG: I've actually been there twice, once last year and the year before for the same event because for AJGA, I won this invitational that gave me an exemption into Taiwan.

Q. What was that experience like for you being over there?

ROSE ZHANG: Yeah, it was great.

Q. My grandmother lived in Taipei.

ROSE ZHANG: Oh, yeah. It's great because playing overseas is just something so special as a junior for me and as an amateur. Just going out there and playing with the professionals, I got to be paired with Lydia Ko for one of the rounds, so it made me learn a lot. I just learned a lot about my game, and it just showed that -- it just made me strive to become like one of those LPGA pros.

Q. I was reading about you, you picked up the game because someone dropped off golf clubs for your dad?

ROSE ZHANG: Yeah, so what happened was I was into tennis. I was a very athletic kid where I liked to play a lot of sports, so my dad's friend actually forced my dad to play golf by buying him shoes, golf balls on the range, clubs, et cetera, and my dad is like, okay, fine, I'll play with you. It's like, normal Asian parents -- Asian, they want to like main goal through golf and stuff. That's that, and I started picking up the golf club and swung it, and I hit the ball on my second try, and I was like, great, maybe I should try it out. My dad was like, okay.

And then from the start, you know, no matter what I wanted to do, no matter what I did, I wanted to at least engage in it first, so right off the bat I started practicing extremely hard, working on my game, and that's how I got to today.

Q. Was there a moment after that when you realized you could be really good at it, like a tournament or something?

ROSE ZHANG: Yeah, so I thought I could be really good at -- after a month I went to this small golf course in Lake Forest, and basically I was playing with three guys who -- or three boys who had played golf for three years and stuff, so my coach decided to take me with them, and I beat them by like four strokes, and I shot 7-over. That was when I was like, oh, this is fun, maybe try again.

Made my first tournament, and I won that event, so that's how it started.

Q. Last year you were quarterfinalist at the Girls' Junior. How exciting is it to be a finalist here in the Women's Am?

ROSE ZHANG: Yeah, it's so exciting because I caddied for Angelina right after the quarterfinals, caddying 54 holes for her, and watching her play in the final just made me -- it just made me feel like it was such an honor and great way of playing a tournament.

Yeah, in general, I'm just super grateful. Playing in the quarterfinals at U.S. Girls' really gave me a lot of experience in match play, and just I'm excited to be a finalist in the U.S. Women's Am.

Q. It seemed like out there there were a few holes you were knocking down some big putts. Was there one or two that stuck out to you where it really gave you -- pumped up your confidence?

ROSE ZHANG: Yes, No. 7-over here, No. 7 gave me like a boost in confidence where I was striking the -- I struck the putt extremely well, so I felt like, oh, the ball is rolling well, maybe I can continue that momentum. On the 8th hole I drained a 40-footer or 35-footer, something like that. You know, it was great because I was really feeling that putt, and it was just really nice to see the ball go in the hole.

From then on, I just tried to keep the momentum.

Q. What were your expectations heading into the week?

ROSE ZHANG: Yeah, so my expectations weren't very high. I wasn't going to play this event because of my wrist. I was thinking of withdrawing. You know, I made it this far, and I'm super grateful to have even played this event.

Q. Yeah, I see the tape, and Julia had mentioned that, too. How was it today, and especially with the 36 holes today and yesterday?

ROSE ZHANG: Yes. Yesterday I had to hit a lot of shots out of the rough, so today my wrist was a little sore, but I kept on icing it every single night, every single time I finished a round. It has improved a lot where I don't feel that much pain, but anything can happen, so I'm just going to rest it well tonight and just have fun tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
100513-1-1002 2020-08-08 21:16:00 GMT

ASAP sports

tech 129