Rose Zhang gets locked inside gates at Augusta National after historic win

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Rose Zhang might be the first Augusta National champion to get locked inside the gates. Zhang said she and good friend Rachel Heck took pictures next to Gate 5 while they waited roughly half an hour to get out.

“It’s such a story to tell,” she said, laughing. Nothing could’ve spoiled the evening for the Stanford sophomore, who clawed her way to victory at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur on Saturday in the most pressure-packed round of her life.

After Zhang met with the media Saturday, she and her team were taken down to the 12th hole for a sunset photo session.

“It was perfect,” said Zhang. “Kind of the calm after the storm environment.”

Augusta National Women’s Amateur champion Rose Zhang of the United States, left, and LPGA legend Nancy Lopez, right, pose with Anna Midyett of the Girls 7-9 division while holding her third place overall trophy during the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals at Augusta National Golf Club, Sunday, April 2, 2023.

She then called her mom for the first time en route to an AirBnB to celebrate with family and friends who had flown in from as far away as Paris.

“She’s the rock of the family,” said Zhang of her mom, Li Cai.

Of the roughly 150 text messages on her phone, Zhang said she’d gotten to about 10 of them. She returned to her hotel around 10:30 p.m. and drifted off to sleep around midnight.

“A sense of relief, disbelief, everything,” said Zhang of what she felt when she laid her head down that night.

Sunday morning marked the first time she’d ever stepped foot on Augusta National without feeling a mountain of pressure. After making another appearance on Golf Channel, Zhang headed over to the Masters Main Golf Shop with her team. She bought a Masters crew neck sweatshirt and quarter zip along with a coffee mug for her matcha lattes.

“Matcha is one of my most favorite things in the world,” she said of her prized purchase.

Congratulations Rose on such an amazing achievement. Making us Cardinal proud.

— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) April 2, 2023

Zhang stopped to sign autographs on her way to greet champions from the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals alongside Nancy Lopez. She then met current World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler for the first time.

“He is such a role model,” Zhang gushed. “He’s a man with so many values and I respect every single part of him as a player and as a person. He’s so nice.”

Zhang heads back to Stanford on Monday morning with Heck, who walked every step of the way on Saturday as well as a victory lap the next day.

“I was supposed to fly out this morning,” said Zhang, “but for me to just enjoy the moment and see Augusta National in a different light … that’s something so crazy. I’m super lucky to be here.”