Holmdel High School (NJ) Junior Megha Ganne Tied for First After Opening Round of U.S. Women’s Open
Update: Ganne shot an even-par 71 on Friday and is T3 at 4-under heading to Saturday's third round.
Following her sensational round on Thursday afternoon, Megha Ganne recalled how in the same setting two years ago she was so nervous she could barely mark her ball.
This time, she was ready for the moment.
After the first round of the 76th U.S. Women's Open in San Francisco, the 17-year old Holmdel High School junior is the talk of the tournament. She carded a 4-under 67 at The Olympic Club to finish the opening round tied with England's Mel Reid atop the leaderboard. She shot a 3-under 32 on the front nine with birdies on holes No. 2, No. 4 and No. 8 and had birdies on No. 12, No. 15 and No. 16 on the back nine to offset a pair of bogies.
Two years ago as a 15-year old, Ganne qualified for the 2019 U.S. Women's Open at the County Club of Charleston. She missed the cut with a score of 11-over par but considering she was just a high school freshman at the time, just being there was an accomplishment. This year - through one round at least - the Stanford commit is providing a glimpse toward her professional future.
"This morning I had this really strange flashback when I was marking my golf balls," Ganne said during her post-round interview. "I remembered when I was in Charleston for my first U.S. Women's Open I couldn't even write the circles on my golf balls because my hands were shaking so badly and this morning I was just going away at it. I definitely feel like I've matured and have been able to handle the pressure better than the first time around."
"I think the key is just playing in these more and more and you get better at it."
Ganne's extraordinary round was nearly one for the record books. Only three amateurs have scored a 66 in the U.S. Women's Open, according to golf analyst Justin Ray (@JustinRayGolf). A bogey on No. 18 prevented her from becoming the fourth but she still became just the sixth amateur to shoot 67 or better at the U.S. Open.
Ganne has been on the national stage before, but this is certainly her breakthrough moment. In addition to competing in the 2019 U.S. Open, she competed at the National Drive, Chip & Putt event at Augusta National, advanced to the semifinals of the 2019 U.S. Women's Amateur, and played in the Augusta National Women's Amateur in April.
Ganne will be one of the first players on the course during Friday's second round, teeing off at 7:11 a.m. local time (10:11 here in New Jersey) with Hong Kong's Tiffany Chan and Finland's Matilda Castren.
The U.S. Open will be televised on Golf Channel from 7-11 p.m. on Friday. On Saturday, it will be on NBC from 2-5 p.m. and Golf Channell from 5-10 p.m. Sunday's final round will air on NBC from 3-7 p.m.
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