Megha Ganne of Holmdel fired a one-under par 70 (35-35) to take a one-stroke lead  after this morning’s first round of the U.S. Women’s Open Sectional Qualifying Round at Forsgate Country Club (Banks Course) in Monroe Township.

Ganne, the reigning NJSGA Junior Girls champion, holds a one-stroke lead over Emma Albrecht of Ormond Beach, Fla., and Jessica Carafiello of Stamford, Conn., and stands two strokes ahead of Brynn Walker of Pennsylvania, Katie Li of Basking Ridge, and professional Cindy Ha (a native of Demarest) in a three-way tie for fourth place at 72.

One qualifying place plus two alternate positions are at stake in today’s 36-hole qualifier for the 74th U.S. Women’s Open Championship at the Country Club of Charleston in South Carolina.

Ganne, age 15 and a freshman at Holmdel High School, finished runner-up for her age group at the recent Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at Augusta National Golf Club. A 30-foot birdie putt on the fifth hole, her 14th of today’s first round, helped her get into red figures.

“I’ve been playing pretty conservative on the par fives, playing up to a yardage I am comfortable with, which helped,” Ganne said. “The greens are a lot faster than they have been in the past few weeks.  I’m just here to have a good experience, play a nice course and hope it works out.”

Round 2 is underway; click here to access live scoring.


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