SAN FRANCISCO – Fans erupted in applause as 17-year-old Megha Ganne confidently drained her 6-footer for par on the eighth – her final gap in Round 2 – to shoot even-par 71 and stay co-leader at the U.S. Women’s Open at Olympic Club. Ganne walked off the inexperienced with a smile and waved to the crowd, enjoying each minute of her success to this point.
“I wish every event I had a gallery watching me because it just makes me play better, I think. And I love being in the spotlight, so it’s been really fun,” mentioned Ganne on Friday.
Her mom, Sudha, all the time remembers her daughter loving the consideration. “She has been in plays at school, so she doesn’t mind the spotlight, I think,” Sudha mentioned with a chuckle. Queen of Hearts, from “Alice in Wonderland,” was her largest function in a faculty play and in accordance to Sudha, “She [Megha] lived it.”
On Thursday, Ganne, nonetheless a highschool junior, opened with a 4-under 67, changing into the sixth newbie in U.S. Women’s Open historical past to shoot 67 or decrease. Dew nonetheless blanketed the grass on Friday morning when Ganne teed off at 7:11 native time, however her jitters have been gone, unphased by the incontrovertible fact that she was co-leading the U.S. Open.
“[I was] way more calm [today] than yesterday. The first four holes of yesterday I was like kind of jittery and a little bit panicked, but on the tee box today I had a bit of a cushion, so I wasn’t as stressed out,” Ganne mentioned.
That didn’t imply issues began off simple. Ganne was 2 over after her first seven holes on the entrance 9 – which started on the ninth gap, a choice the USGA made for the gamers out of comfort. But not like many youngsters who would doubtless freak out and shoot themselves in the foot, Ganne remained assured in her potential to make birdies (she made six in Round 1).
“I was just kind of looking through the pin sheets and I could tell there are some holes out there that are wide open for you and you’ll have a wedge in your hand, and you know what to do from there, so don’t worry about your bogeys,” she mentioned, sounding like a longtime vet.
Her pep discuss proved to achieve success, and she went on to birdie No. 16. After making the flip she birdied No. 1 and No. 7, ending at even par. An extraordinarily stable day for any participant at the U.S. Open and definitely from a 17-year-old.
“She’s so confident,” mentioned her caddie, Michael Finn, who loops at Olympic Club and acquired in contact with Ganne’s household by means of connections at Stanford University, the place Ganne will probably be beginning in the fall of 2022. “The maturity level is of a 30-year-old. It’s like she’s been out here doing this for years. She doesn’t get down; she’s just having fun.”
Ganne’s mother and father, Hari and Sudha, emphasize the significance of her daughter taking issues daily. “She learned the hard way, think ahead, meaning that probably wouldn’t be helpful, and we are hoping she can keep it together,” mentioned Sudha.
Sudha is probably going referring to her daughter’s efficiency at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, the place she missed the minimize, taking pictures 77-80.
“I think I might have been more nervous to play the ANWA at Augusta than I was to play here. So, I thought it was great preparation for the pressure,” mentioned Ganne at Thursday’s press convention.
The psychological preparation definitely paid off as a result of she is prospering in the spotlight and excelling underneath stress. More cameras will probably be on Ganne in Saturday’s third spherical as she performs alongside a few of the greatest professionals in the world – amongst the remaining teams on the day – and continues to make headlines at the U.S. Women’s Open.