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‘Incredible’ closing eagle gets Rose Zhang back into KPMG Women’s PGA hunt


SPRINGFIELD N.J. — Rose Zhang’s third round at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship wasn’t shaping up to be anything magnificent.

Until she reached Baltusrol’s par-5 18th on the Lower Course.

The 20-year-old hit her tee shot into the fairway and had 219 yards to the pin. Then, she took a 5-wood and knocked her approach to 3 feet en route to an eagle, which moved her to 1 under and T-14 following her round, six strokes off the lead at the time.

Afterward, Zhang declined to speak with the media but gave a comment to media officials.

Full-field scores from the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

“The eagle was incredible,” Zhang said. “I felt like it was my best shot the entire day. I felt like my swing was really solid. It was way better than the first couple days. Finally getting in the groove.”

The former Stanford star, who won the Mizuho Americas Open earlier this month in her professional debut, got herself back into contention with one swing on Saturday. However, it will still be an uphill climb on Sunday into the winner’s circle.

But considering it’s Zhang’s first major start as a professional, she’s been treating this week as a learning experience — and is still on the brink of a quality finish.

“I’ve learned so much,” she said. “Just playing alongside the pros and playing against the best in the world, it’s something that I don’t take for granted. I’ve just been really taking it in stride and learning what it’s like to really be inside the ropes.”

Next, she’ll learn what the pressure of a major championship Sunday feels like.