After her sensational run on Thursday afternoon, Megha Ganne recalled how, in the same setting two years ago, she was so nervous she could barely score her ball.
This time, she was ready for the moment.
After the first round of the 76th US Women’s Open in San Francisco, 17-year-old junior Holmdel High School is the star of the tournament. She earned an Under-67 card at the Olympic Club to finish the first round tied with England’s Mel Reid atop the standings. She did a 3-under-32 on the top nine with birdies on holes # 2, # 4 and # 8 and had birdies on # 12, # 15 and # 16 on the last nine to compensate for a pair of bogies.
Two years ago, at age 15, Ganne qualified for the 2019 US Women’s Open at the County Club of Charleston. She missed the cut with a score of 11 above par, but considering she was only a freshman in high school at the time, just being there was an accomplishment. This year – through at least one lap – Stanford’s engagement provides a glimpse into his professional future.
“This morning I had this really weird flashback when I was marking my golf balls,” Ganne said in his post-round interview. “I remembered that when I was in Charleston for my first US Women’s Open I couldn’t even write the circles on my golf balls because my hands were shaking so much and this morning I was leaving. I really feel like ‘I’ve matured and been able to handle the pressure better than the first time around.’
“I think the key is to play more and more in these areas and you get better.”
Ganne’s extraordinary turn was almost one for the record books. According to golf analyst Justin Ray, only three amateurs scored a 66 at the US Women’s Open. (@JustinRayGolf). A bug on the No.18 kept her from becoming the fourth, but she still only became the sixth amateur to shoot 67 or better at the US Open.
Ganne has been on the national stage before, but this is certainly his defining moment. In addition to competing in the 2019 US Open, she competed in the National Drive, Chip & Putt event at Augusta National, qualified for the 2019 US Women’s Amateur semi-finals, and played in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur in April.
Ganne will be one of the first players on the course in Friday’s second round, starting at 7:11 am local time (10:11 am here in New Jersey) with Hong Kong’s Tiffany Chan and Finland’s Matilda Castren.
The US Open will be televised on the Golf Channel from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday. Saturday will be on NBC from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Golf Channell from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday’s finale will air on NBC from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
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