Megha Ganne is medalist; qualifies for 74th U.S. Women's Open
Megha Ganne of Holmdel, N.J., may have just turned 15, but her wealth of experience was enough to carry her to medalist honors at Tuesday’s 36-hole U.S. Women’s Open Sectional Qualifying round at the par-71, 6,307-yard Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township.
By virtue of her triumph, Ganne earned a berth in the U.S. Women’s Open Championship, May 30-June 3, at the Country Club of Charleston in South Carolina. The reigning NJSGA Junior Girls champion shot an even-par 70-72-142 to garner medalist honors by one stroke.
The first alternate spot went to Emma Albrecht of Ormond Beach, Fla., a Notre Dame senior, who shot 71-72-143. The second alternate spot went to Aneka Seumanutafa of Emmitsburg, Maryland, an Ohio State freshman who bested Brynn Walker of St. Davids, Pa., a North Carolina junior, in a two-hole playoff. They both shot 145 for the 36 holes along with professional Cindy Ha (a native of Demarest, N.J.), who opted not to participate in the playoff.
The amateurs ruled the day in the field of 40 that included eight professionals.
“I just felt I went out and played like it was any other tournament. I do get intimidated by the older players, but it’s not like I’m a 10-year-old. I hit it as far as they do and I’ve been playing golf since I was seven. I have experience and felt I had as good a chance as anyone in the field,” said Ganne, a freshman at Holmdel High School who is a veteran of American Junior Golf Association events as well as having played in four USGA championships.
Just two weeks ago, she finished as runner-up for her age group at the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at Augusta National Golf Club. It was her fourth appearance in the DCP finals.
Ganne took a one-stroke lead and stood at one-under par (70) going into the second round at Forsgate. In the afternoon, she shot even par on the front nine, then birdied No. 10 and No. 14 to go three-under-par for the day. But she came back to earth with a double bogey on the par-4 No. 16, and a bogey on the par-3 No. 17 to get back to even par.
Her par on the par-4 No. 18 was enough to secure medalist honors.
The fabled Banks Course, well known for its undulating and sloped greens, challenged Ganne’s course management. “I don’t think I was too aggressive, but I was just getting sloppy and sometimes didn’t think through my shots. I was careful not to always look at the pin – and sometimes I didn’t aim at the safest spots – which is what I should have done when I was three under,” Ganne said.
Ganne participated in the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championships in 2018 and 2017, the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 2017 and the U.S. Women’s Four-Ball Championship in 2018 with partner Bailey Shoemaker of New York.
“I figured out today that you don’t have to hit awesome shots, you just have to hit good shots. I knew I could do that much today,” Ganne noted.