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Zhang favourite to win U.S. Women's Open

Rose Zhang Rose Zhang - The Canadian Press

The third major championship in women’s golf tees off this week with the iconic Pebble Beach playing host. 

It’s the first time in the 77-year history of the event that the U.S. Women's Open winner will be crowned at Pebble Beach. And the first major tournament hosted at this venue since Gary Woodland won the 2019 U.S. Open on the men’s side. 

We’re just a few weeks removed from 20-year-old Ruoning Yin becoming the second Chinese-born woman to win a major, winning the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. 

But it’s a different 20-year-old that enters this week as the favourite. 

Rose Zhang +1200 
Jin Young Ko +1400 
Atthaya Thitikul +1800 
Hyo Joo Kim +1800
Leona Maguire +1800 
Nelly Korda +2000 
Hye Jin Choi +2200 
Xiyu Lin +2200 
Minjee Lee +2900 
Brooke Henderson +3400 

Rose Zhang +1200 

It’s not every day that a 20-year-old is the betting favourite to win a major championship in golf. 

But Rose Zhang isn’t your average women’s golfer. 

Zhang’s resume as an amateur is arguably better than any amateur in the history of golf. 

At Stanford, she won two NCAA Women’s Golf Individual Championship titles. She was named Most Outstanding Female NCAA DI college player twice and won the Augusta National Women's Amateur in April. 

She re-wrote the record books at Stanford, tying Tiger Woods for the most wins in a single season with eight, and her 12 wins in 20 starts are more than any other man or woman, including Woods. 

After spending 141 weeks as the No. 1 ranked amateur in the world, the most of any player, Zhang turned pro. And the early returns have been staggering. 

Zhang won her first start on the LPGA Tour as a pro, taking down Jennifer Kupcho in a playoff at the Mizuho Americas Open. 

She followed that up with her first top 10 finish at a major at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, tying for eighth. 

She also owns the women’s course record at Pebble Beach, a record she set at the 2022 Carmel Cup with a round of 63 in the second round on Saturday. 

It’s not a matter of if, but when Zhang wins her first major championship, and just might add to her resume once again after this week at Pebble Beach. 

Carlota Ciganda +3100 

There were a ton of storylines on Sunday at the Women’s PGA Championship, and Carlota Ciganda almost stole the show. 

A round of seven-under catapulted her into a tie for third, missing out on a playoff by just two shots. 

Ciganda enters this week with great form, finishing inside the top 10 in three of her last four events. 

She has also finished inside the top 15 in three of her last four majors. 

Ciganda’s swing appears to be in a good spot as she’s gained at least 6.5 strokes tee-to-green in back-to-back events. 

She enters this week 10th in Strokes Gained: Total this season and 25th in SG: Tee to Green. 

Ciganda is well overdue for a win in North America, having not entered the winners' circle in an LPGA Tour event since Nov. 2016 but she’s picked up a win in the last two years on the Ladies European Tour.