Stanford freshman and the world’s top-ranked female amateur golfer, Rose Zhang, was announced today as the winner of the prestigious ANNIKA Award presented by Stifel, recognizing the most outstanding female NCAA Division I college golfer for the 2021-22 season. The announcement was made today by Hall-of-Famer Annika Sorenstam and Ron Kruszewski, Chairman and CEO of Stifel.
Zhang, the top-ranked player in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, Golfstat and Golfweek/Sagarin college rankings, captured the 2022 NCAA Women’s Golf Championships Individual Championship on Monday by three shots at 6-under par. Zhang is the third freshman overall and the second consecutive freshman from Stanford to win the ANNIKA Award. As a result of winning the 2022 ANNIKA Award, Zhang receives an exemption to compete in the 2024 Amundi Evian Championship, one of the LPGA Tour’s five major championships.
“It is truly an honor to win the 2022 Annika Award and to have my name alongside all of these great players who won this award previously,” said Zhang. “It is safe to say I know every one of these names. Just seeing all of these names and being given this award by the greatest player ever in Annika brings a lot of inspiration to me to keep getting better. Not only is it an award for golf, but it is also for character. Being voted as the winner by my peers and coaches is truly amazing.”
“Rose has had an amazing freshman year at Stanford, culminating this week in capturing the NCAA individual national championship,” said Sorenstam, who captured the 1991 NCAA individual championship at the University of Arizona. “I’ve seen her play the past few years at our foundation tournaments and have watched her grow. Golf is in good hands when you have players like Rose. It validates what we do in celebrating these wonderful young women both on and off the golf course.
“Thank you to the Haskins Commission and Stifel in presenting this award. It is very special for us,” continued Sorenstam. “This is the ninth year, and every year we have had some incredible winners, many who have gone on to great success on the LPGA Tour and are great ambassadors for the game.”
“Stifel has been a proud supporter of college golf for more than a decade, and our commitment to the sport and the future success of its rising stars grows stronger each year,” said Ron Kruszewski, Chairman and CEO of Stifel. “As an organization with an abundance of top women performers, we are honored to be a presenting sponsor for such a prestigious award. Rose Zhang has had a magnificent freshman season at Stanford, and we salute her remarkable achievements.”
Zhang became Stanford’s second straight individual national champion on Monday by going wire-to-wire in capturing the NCAA Women’s Golf Individual National Championship at Grayhawk Golf Club. The freshman from Irvine, Calif., burst onto the collegiate golf scene at Stanford in the fall by winning her first three events in the college golf season. In total, she recorded seven top-two finishes and finished inside the top-10 in all nine events during her freshman campaign.
GOLF Channel’s live coverage of the NCAA Golf Championships continues today and tomorrow with the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships team match play competition in primetime, followed by live coverage of the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships, May 30-June 1. Complete information about GOLF Channel’s television coverage of the NCAA Golf Championships can be found here.
Voting for the ANNIKA Award presented by Stifel was compiled and verified by the Fred Haskins Commission, which oversees the award. Past winners of the ANNIKA Award include Rachel Heck (Stanford, 2021); Natalie Srinivasan (Furman, 2020); Maria Fassi (Arkansas, 2018- 19); Leona Maguire (Duke, 2015, 2017); Bronte Law (UCLA, 2016) and Alison Lee (2014). These past ANNIKA Award recipients tallied 39 wins during their collegiate careers; have been collectively recognized as First Team All-Americans 11 times; and have accumulated five professional wins (Bronte Law – 2019 Pure Silk Championship and the 2021 Dubai Moonlight Classic; Leona Maguire – two Epson Tour wins and 2022 Drive on Championship). GOLF Channel and Golfweek are media partners for the ANNIKA Award presented by Stifel.
About the ANNIKA Award presented by Stifel
Created in 2014, the ANNIKA Award presented by Stifel is annually given to the top female U.S. collegiate golfer; the winner voted on by players, coaches and members of the college golf media. Named for and presented by Annika Sorenstam, the award was created in partnership with the Haskins Commission to acknowledge the top female golfer at the end of the season and to match the Haskins Award presented by Stifel, which acknowledges the top male Division I collegiate golfer.
Stifel, one of the nation’s leading wealth management and investment banking firms, serves as the presenting sponsor of both the ANNIKA and Haskins Awards, recognizing annually the most outstanding NCAA Division I female and male college golfers. Stifel also serves as a presenting sponsor for the NCAA Division I Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships on GOLF Channel.