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Megha Ganne, a 17-year-old high school junior, co-leads U.S. Women’s Open

SAN FRANCISCO – High school junior Megha Ganne barely survived a 3-for-1 playoff to get into the U.S. Women’s Open. Now, the 17-year-old is tied for the lead at 4 underneath and is the sixth newbie on this championship’s historical past to shoot 67 or decrease.

Camera crews rushed to seize her final photographs on Thursday and a crowd gathered behind her, however Ganne remained poised. Despite a bogey on the remaining gap, she recorded six birdies on the day, main outright till that dropped shot on 18.

She thanks her earlier U.S. Open expertise for her further confidence.

“The first time [at a U.S. Open] is nerve-racking for anybody and meeting your idols and being on the stage for the first time. But the second time around, even the practice rounds, I wasn’t as nervous. I felt like I could come here and just play my game instead of soaking that all in. Definitely a little bit easier this time,” stated Ganne, who first certified for the U.S. Open in 2019 on the Country Club of Charleston, the place she missed the lower capturing scores of 81-72.  

U.S. Women’s Open: Full-field scores | Full coverage

The tough intimidated a lot of gamers in Round 1, however Ganne knew what she was up towards. “I didn’t panic when I got into the rough a couple of times and it’s easy to panic out there,” she stated. “I think just knowing that everyone in the field has to deal with it, and whoever makes the smartest choices out of there and picks the best lines and doesn’t take unnecessary risks is going to be the person who ends up better off.”

She additionally thanks her expertise on the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, the place she missed the lower in April, however received a lot of expertise in entrance of the digicam. “It’s really similar, you know, really prestigious and a lot of cameras and a lot of attention on you. So, it was really good preparation.”

Ganne tied for USWO lead as 17-year-old amateur

Ganne’s calm demeanor should come from her dad and mom, Hari and Sudha Ganne, who weren’t nervous strolling The Olympic Club, however having fun with each second watching their daughter play – and, in fact, extremely proud.

“This is a special day,” stated her father, Hari Ganne. “No matter what happens tomorrow, today was an amazing performance. She’s going to be feeling so good for tomorrow.”

Both Hari and his spouse are first-generation migrants to the United States, and it was Hari who launched his daughter to the sport.

“The snack bar and the Oreos was the initial motivation [to come to the range]. And then she started swinging a little and she liked it,” Hari stated.

Ganne is presently ranked third within the Rolex AJGA Rankings and 71st within the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR). She is a four-time finalist within the Drive, Chip and Putt National Championship at Augusta National and misplaced within the semifinals on the 2019 U.S. Amateur in 19 holes to Albane Valenzuela. Ganne is verbally dedicated to Stanford University and can begin fall of 2022. Both Stanford head coach Anne Walker and assistant Maddie Sheils watched Ganne compete at this time.

“They haven’t seen me play since 2019, so I hope they like this first round,” Megha stated.

Only one newbie, Catherine Lacoste in 1967, has ever gained the U.S. Women’s Open. Ganne will proceed her quest on Friday, within the second group out at 10:11 a.m. ET.

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