October 1, 2020 - Despite the COVID-19 pandemic which cost her an appearance in the prestigious Augusta National Women’s Amateur at Augusta National in April, Megha Ganne of Holmdel has played remarkably well this summer.

In fact, based on the latest rankings of the AJGA’s Junior Golf Scoreboard for female golfers age 18 and under, the 16-year-old is ranked No. 1 in the country. She is also currently No. 1 in the U.S. in the Golfweek rankings for girls 18 and under.

This weekend, she is excited to test herself against the game’s best when she competes in the field of 120 players on a sponsor’s exemption for the ShopRite LPGA Classic at Stockton Seaview Hotel in Galloway. This year, the LPGA has expanded the ShopRite LPGA Classic from 54 to 72 holes over four days. Professionals are competing for a purse of $1.3 million, although Ganne, as an amateur, cannot accept prize money.

It is her second appearance in a professional event and the experience of playing in the U.S. Women’s Open last year as a 15-year-old has not been lost on Ganne, a junior at Holmdel High School who is learning remotely this fall.

“The nerves will still be there, but the good thing is I’m not as star-struck to play with pros as much as I was last summer. I’m really happy to be playing in the ShopRite Classic. It’s something that I’ve watched every year,” said Ganne, who won the 2018 NJSGA Junior Girls’ Championship.

As a bonus, Ganne knows the Bay Course at Seaview very well, having played there annually in U.S. Kids tournaments.

“I think I have played there more than anyone in the field. I remember being seven or eight years old and being so intimidated by it. I know every tee and every green. It looks entirely different to me now.”

Last week, Ganne and Katie Li if Basking Ridge, also 16, combined to earn the medal at qualifying for the 2021 U.S. Women’s Four-Ball Championship. She also appeared in the U.S. Women’s Four-Ball in 2017 with Bailey Shoemaker of New York.

Other highlights for Ganne this summer include two top five finishes in AJGA events in the AJGA Rolex Championship in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and the AJGA Girls’ Championship in the Furman Golf Club in Greenville, S.C. She shot a low-round of 65 at the Rolex Championship and placed fifth.

Also, she finished 18th in the North-South Amateur, and advanced to match-play in the U.S. Women’s Amateur, losing in the first round. In 2019, Ganne reached the semifinals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur.

It is truly an eventful year for Ganne, who this spring announced she would join the golf team at Stanford University in the fall of 2022.

“That’s taken a lot of pressure off me,” said Ganne, who said she is happy with her play.

“This year, I’ve focused more on my mental game and not on changing my swing. I want to get used to playing under par. I shot a lot of low rounds this summer,” she said. “I’m trying not to be intimidated when I’m in the lead.”

As for her expectations in the ShopRite LPGA Classic?

“I expect to play my very best,” said Ganne, whose next event is the AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions on Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 21-26) at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

“I hope to be under par, and I hope to make the cut and score well.”

Junior Golf Scoreboard Rankings

Golfweek Rankings - age 18 & under

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