Megha Ganne (NJSGA/Twitter photo)
On the first day of stateside U.S. Women’s Open qualifying (the Japan sectional qualifier took place on Monday), a 15-year-old stole the headlines. Megha Ganne earned her place in the Women’s Open field as the medalist in her New Jersey qualifier, where only one spot was available.
Ganne, of Holmdel, N.J., finished a 36-hole day at the par-71 Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township, N.J., with rounds of 70-72. She was one shot ahead of Notre Dame senior Emma Albrecht, who will be the first alternate. The amateurs ruled in the 40-woman field at Forsgate – then again, there were 32 of them.
For the day, Ganne was even par. She opened with bogeys in two of her first three holes, then went 3 under in her next five. Ganne qualified despite playing her last three holes of the day in 3 over.
“I just felt I went out and played like it was any other tournament. I do get intimidated by the older players, but it’s not like I’m a 10-year-old. I hit it as far as they do and I’ve been playing golf since I was seven. I have experience and felt I had as good a chance as anyone in the field,” said Ganne, a freshman at Holmdel High School who competes in American Junior Golf Association events.
Just two weeks ago, she finished as runner-up for her age group at the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at Augusta National Golf Club. It was her fourth appearance in the DCP finals.
Forsgate’s best defense is in its fast, slopey greens, but Ganne played smart golf on Tuesday.
“I don’t think I was too aggressive, but I was just getting sloppy and sometimes didn’t think through my shots,” she said. “I was careful not to always look at the pin – and sometimes I didn’t aim at the safest spots – which is what I should have done when I was three under.”
Ganne is no stranger to USGA championships, having played the U.S. Girls’ Junior the past two years, the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 2017 and the U.S. Women’s Four-Ball in 2018.
“I figured out today that you don’t have to hit awesome shots, you just have to hit good shots. I knew I could do that much today,” Ganne noted.
Now she gets to see how she stacks up against the world’s best.
Information from the New Jersey State Golf Association used in this report
ABOUT THE U.S. Women's Open Qualifying
36 hole stroke play qualifying held at sites across
the United States with a handful of international sites.
Handicap limit of 2.4 for amateurs.
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