A high school junior grabbed a share of the lead Thursday at The Olympic Club in San Francisco behind an impressive opening round of the U.S. Women’s Open.
17-year-old Megha Ganne, an amateur out of Holmdel High School, posted a 4-under 67 in Round 1 at the major championship. She is one of two amateurs inside the top 20, along with Gurleen Kaur.
Ganne actually played the event for the first time two years ago when she was 15 years old and a freshman in high school. She posted an opening round 10-over that year in Charleston, South Carolina, however, and missed the cut — something she credited largely to nerves of being on one of the LPGA’s biggest stages.
“This morning I had this really strange flashback as I was marking my golf balls,” Ganne said after her round. “I remember when I was in Charleston for my first Women’s Open, I couldn’t even write the circles on my golf balls because my hands were shaking so badly.
“This morning, I was going away at it, so I definitely feel like I’ve matured and 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 got off to a great start on Thursday, making three birdies on her front nine without a single bogey.
Though the Stanford commit bogeyed twice on the back nine — including on No. 18, which cost her the solo lead — she made another three to offset them and grab a share of the lead at 4-under with Mel Reid and Brooke Henderson.
“I feel more ready than I did last time for sure,” Ganne said earlier this week, via the Asbury Park Press. “I played well second day once I dealt with the pressure a little bit better than I did on the first day [last time]. I think everyone here has the ability to play well, but there are other factors you have to deal with.”
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