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Amateur Megha Ganne shares first round lead at U.S. Women's Open
USGA photo
USGA photo

Megha Ganne, a 17-year old junior at Holmdel High School in New Jersey, shot an opening round 4-under par 67 on Thursday and is tied for the first round lead of the 76th U.S. Women’s Open being played at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.

Ganne, playing in her second U.S. Women’s Open, briefly held the solo lead at 5-under par after making back-to-to back birdies but a bogey on the Olympic Club’s diabolical 18th hole dropped her back into a tie with Mel Reid of England. She is the first amateur in 15 years to have a share of the lead after any of the rounds of a U.S. Women’s Open since Jane Park led the field after one round at the Newport Country Club in 2016.

Ganne, a Stanford commit for 2022, birdied three of her first eight holes and picked up three more on the back nine to earn a share of the lead heading into Friday’s second rounds. Her only blemishes were bogeys on holes 11 and 18. Her second shot into 18 found a greenside bunker and led to a bogey, preventing Ganne from holding the outright lead.

“I didn't panic when I got into the rough a couple of times out there,” said Ganne. “The [bogey] on 18, I was talking to my caddie (Olympic member Mike Finn), and I was like, ‘Is this dumb?’ And I ended up going for it. I probably should have just laid back there given my lie [in the rough]."

Ganne continues to draw on her experience from her first U.S. Women's Open three years ago at Shoal Creek.

“I had this really strange flashback to 2018 this morning when I was marking my golf balls,” said Ganne. “I remember I couldn’t even mark my golf balls because my hands were shaking so bad. I think I’ve definitely matured and have been able to handle the pressure better than the first time around.”

Ganne qualified for her second consecutive U.S. Women’s Open by surviving a 3-for-1 playoff on May 10 at Spring Lake Golf Club in New Jersey. Ganne lost in 19 holes to Stanford All-American Albane Valenzuela in the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur semifinals at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Miss and is a four-time Drive, Chip & Putt national finalist (runner-up in 14-15 Division in 2019). A product of The First Tee of Metropolitan New York, she has qualified for two U.S. Girls’ Juniors and a U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball.

Ganne will be once again be paired with Tiffany Chan and Matilda Castren for Friday’s second round.

A total of 10 amateurs are within 10 shots of the lead heading into Friday's second round. Gurleen Kaur, a junior at Baylor, is just four shots back after carding an even par 71 on Thursday. Rachel Heck, winner of six straight tournaments coming into Olympic, is in a large pack that includes Amelia Garvey and Claire Choi, at 4-over 75. Chloe Kovelsky, the youngest competitor in the field at 14 years of age, shot an opening round 81 (+10).

Results: U.S. Women's Open
T14NJMegha GanneHolmdel, NJ100067-71-72-77=287
T16SwedenMaja StarkSweden90071-70-73-74=288
T35TNRachel HeckMemphis, TN70075-72-75-72=294
66TXGurleen KaurHouston, TX50071-73-80-81=305
MCMNIsabella McCauleyInner Grove Heights, MN080-70=150

View full results for U.S. Women's Open

ABOUT THE U.S. Women's Open

The U.S. Women's Open is the biggest tournament in women's golf and one of 14 national championships conducted by the USGA. The event is open to any female who has a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 4.4.

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