Rose Zhang, a freshman golfer at Stanford University, is the first college athlete to sign a name, image, likeness (NIL) deal with Adidas.
“It’s just really good experience because it’s a step forward to being part of the real world,” Zhang said to Golfweek.
When she is not representing Stanford, which is endorsed by Nike, Zhang will wear the Adidas brand at other events.
Zhang is the world’s top-ranked amateur golfer and she won the NCAA individual national championship and team championship last month at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Adding to her list of college achievements, Zhang has won the U.S. Women’s Amateur and U.S. Girls Junior Championship.
“She has such a strong mindset,” Stanford coach Annie Walker said to ESPN. “This wasn’t easy, no matter how it looked. It was a grind. She didn’t hit it the way she wanted and was out of position quite a bit. She never let it rattle her cage.”
Zhang told Golfweek that the money she makes through NIL deals affects how long she’ll stay at Stanford, but she hasn’t decided when she’ll go professional.
“Meeting people, building those close relationships and really just understanding what I want to do and balancing my life,” Zhang said to Golfweek. “I feel like college is a great tester for that. Just staying here, there’s so much more to learn. I have no idea what’s to come, but I feel like college is doing me wonders right now.”
Zhang will compete in her fourth consecutive U.S. Women’s Open that will take place from June 2-5 at Pine Needles Resort & Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C.
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