Ice cream with Rose Zhang, Michelle Wie West and an epic ferry ride | Rogers Report

Rose Zhang on The Scoop.

Connor Federico

Hello friends and welcome to this week’s Rogers Report! I’m fresh off a few days covering the Miuzho Americas Open at Liberty National and truly had the time of my life. I’ve spent a lot of time at Liberty for various events over the last handful of years working in golf, and the vibes are always great.

Getting to Liberty National for a golf tournament is as easy and fun as it gets. You hop on the ferry from Brookfield Place in lower Manhattan, and about 18 minutes later you’re standing in front of the course’s clubhouse. On Wednesday I had the honor of taking the 7 a.m. ferry to the course with Angel Yin, and the 5:00 p.m. ferry home with Rose Zhang. Those rides were the bookends to a perfect day at Michelle Wie West’s event.

The range

Like most events I attend, my favorite spot at Liberty National is the clubhouse. The range, media center, and practice greens are all connected, which made my job pretty easy.

The first thing I noticed upon my arrival was the energy. There was music blasting, the NBA trophy was resting nearby, and the junior golfers couldn’t be more excited to tee it up alongside the pros. It didn’t take long before a few familiar faces appeared.

First came junior golf superstar Gianna Clemente. She showed my colleague Zephyr Melton the Gen Z way to take a selfie (on 0.5 mode with the back camera, for those interested), and was on her way. A few feet away, Megha Ganne was taking her clubs from her college bag and putting them into a staff bag for the first time. Across from us Rose Zhang was packing up her TrackMan.

I loved how much personality almost everyone on the range showed; it’s the kind of energy we hope the men will show a hint of in their press conferences. Before Zhang and I hopped on the ferry together on Wednesday, she stopped the GOLF crew to pose for her BeReal. Gen Z is very much in the field at the Mizuho Americas Open this week, and the difference isn’t only on the course.

My lesson with a junior

Perhaps the most humbling 10 minutes of my year so far came on Wednesday morning, when I got a putting lesson from an incoming freshman at the University of Virginia named Jaclyn LaHa. She’s currently 24th in the Rolex AJGA rankings and was given the near-impossible task of making me a better putter. We worked on downhill putts. The one putt she hit ended up way closer to the hole than any of the five I hit. My coworker, James Colgan, got a driver lesson from 16-year-old Rianne Malixi, and it’s safe to say he left his lesson feeling just as humbled as I did. If you see James smoking his drives this summer, you know who to thank.

Michelle Wie West!

Major champion Michelle Wie West is hosting the Mizuho Americas Open this week, although you might not know it by how relaxed she seems. Wie West was extremely generous with her time. Between putting on a clinic for kids who came to watch the event, greeting all of her players and fulfilling all of her host duties, she made sure to chat with everyone she saw to thank us for coming.

A ferry ride with Angel Yin

I’d never met 24-year-old Angel Yin prior to this week, but my coworkers arranged for me to chat with her on the ferry ride over to Liberty National on Wednesday. Despite hearing spectacular things about Yin from my coworker, Zephyr, I was still a little nervous. We were meeting at 6:30 a.m. outside of her hotel. Would she be up for conversation that early? The ferry wasn’t until 7, and it would take us 30 minutes or so to get from Brookfield Place to the practice area at Liberty National. Would I be able to keep the conversation for that long?

My anxiety melted away within 15 seconds of meeting Angel. We talked about NYC, how she loves practicing late in the day because she has the course to herself and her love (read: borderline obsession) with musicals. Check out how our commute went (and more!) in the video below.

Ice cream with Rose Zhang

Last but certainly not least, I had the honor of chatting with Rose Zhang over some ice cream on Wednesday evening when she joined me for an episode of The Scoop.

I was immediately struck by how normal Zhang is, despite winning two NCAA titles, 12 events at Stanford and the 2023 Augusta National Women’s Amateur. Zhang requested mint chocolate chip ice cream for the interview, which I quickly promised her was doable. Luckily, Liberty National had it in stock in their kitchen, which I didn’t find out until after I promised her the flavor.

Even before the interview began, Zhang was pretty chatty. She was on the hunt for a red Sharpie to mark her golf ball and was carrying a huge box of new Adidas swag. I told her that one of my coworkers would be more than happy to carry her stuff — my second premature promise of the day. (Thanks to Zephyr for stepping up.)

As we made our way to the ferry, BeReal went off. For those of you who don’t know, that’s an app that goes off at a random time each day, and you take a photo and then a selfie to show your friends what you are up to. “Wait, everyone get in my BeReal,” Zhang said to the GOLF squad.

I don’t have a copy of hers, but I ended up taking one as well.

Our BeReal at Liberty National Claire Rogers

I’ve gotten very lucky with having great guests on The Scoop, and Zhang was no exception. I kept forgetting I was speaking with a 20-year-old as she gave insight into her life and golf game. You can check out our full video below. I hope you enjoy!

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Claire Rogers Editor