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

rose zhang withdraws from this week's lpga tournament because of illness after playing three holes

Rose Zhang reacts after making birdie on the 18th hole to win the LPGA Cognizant Founders Cup golf tournament, Sunday, May 12, 2024, in Clifton, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — Defending champion Rose Zhang withdrew from the Mizuho Americas Open on Thursday because of illness after completing only three holes of the opening round.

Zhang started on the back nine at Liberty National. 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.

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.”

Hopkins said Zhang, who played at Stanford, intended to put out a statement on social media.

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.

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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AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf

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