Rose Zhang withdraws from this week's LPGA tournament because of illness after playing three holes

Updated May. 16, 2024 2:51 p.m. ET

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — Rose Zhang found an opponent she couldn't beat in the Mizuho Americas Open — an upset stomach.

Zhang withdrew from the event in the the shadow of the New York City skyline on Thursday because of illness after completing only three holes of the opening round.

Zhang started on the back nine at Liberty National just before 8 a.m. She shot par on No. 10, double bogey on 11 and par on 12. She left playing partners Lydia Ko and Albane Valenzuela on the tee box of the par-5 No. 13 and was driven back to the clubhouse.

“I am really disappointed that I had to withdraw from the Mizuho Americas Open today," Zhang said in a statement on social media. "This tournament holds a special place in my heart, having had such an amazing week last year when I captured my first LPGA Tour win here at Liberty National.


“I was really looking forward to trying to defend my title, but unfortunately spent the last 12 hours with really bad intestinal pain,” said Zhang, whose 12 career wins at Stanford broke the old school record previous held by a group that included Tiger Woods.

Kevin Hopkins, Zhang's agent with Excel Sports Management, said the two-time NCAA champion was feeling fine all week but she had an upset stomach Thursday morning.

“I didn’t think she was going to make it out on the course,” Hopkins said. “She tried.”

The 20-year-old Zhang ended Nelly Korda’s record-tying run of winning five straight LPGA tournament starts by finishing first last week at the Cognizant Founders Cup. It was her first victory in almost a year.

"It's unfortunate that she isn’t feeling well,” Ko said after shooting 72. “She tried to gut it out. She said she was in pain.”

Korda was playing on the group in front of Zhang. She didn't notice until about the sixth or seventh hole that there was a twosome behind her. She said she stayed focused on her game in finishing with a 70, which has her in the hunt for a sixth win this season.

Zhang won this event last year in a playoff with Jennifer Kupcho, becoming the first player to win on the LPGA Tour in their professional debut since Beverly Hanson in 1951.

This was Zhang's eighth event of the year. She birdied four of the final five holes to rally from a three-shot deficit and beat Madelene Sagstrom by two shots last weekend. Her best previous finish was a tie for fifth. She also missed two cuts.


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