NJ high school junior Megha Ganne leads US Women’s Open

SAN FRANCISCO — HighMe school junior Megha Ganne shot a 4-under 67 on Thursday to turn out to be the primary novice in 15 years to have a share of the lead after any spherical on the U.S. Women’s Open.

The 17-year-old from New Jersey made back-to-back birdies on the again 9 to take sole possession of the lead earlier than making bogey on the 18th gap to finish the day in a tie with Mel Reid on the Lake Course on the Olympic Club.

Ganne grew to become the primary novice to guide after a spherical on the girls’s Open since Jane Park did it after one spherical at Newport Country Club in 2006.

“I think just my ability to play smart and not take any unnecessary risks, and I didn’t panic when I got into the rough a couple of times out there,” Ganne mentioned of the important thing to her success. “Because there are definitely holes I wasn’t keeping in the fairway, and it’s easy to panic out there, and I didn’t do that.”

Ganne wanted a playoff final month to qualify for her second profession U.S. Open however felt far more snug as soon as she bought right here than she did two years in the past when she missed the minimize.

“I think the first time is nerve-racking for anybody and meeting your idols and being on the stage for the first time,” she mentioned. “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.”

Megha Ganne
Megha Ganne
Getty Images

She did simply that up the highway from Stanford the place she plans to go to varsity after graduating high school subsequent yr. She birdied three of the primary eight holes and made three extra on the again 9 to beat a pair of bogeys.

She made certainly one of her few errors on 18 when she hit her strategy shot right into a greenside bunker.

The notoriously robust Lake Course performed a bit simpler than traditional after the tough was trimmed a bit earlier than the spherical. Fifteen gamers shot beneath par with Canada’s Brooke Henderson, and Americans Angel Yin and Megan Khang one shot again. Henderson three-putted from lower than 20 ft on the 18th gap to fall out of a share of the lead.

Lexi Thompson, Yuka Saso and Shanshan Feng have been two pictures again.

Other notable gamers embody defending champion A Lim Kim of South Korea, who struggled at 6 over, and 2014 champion Michelle Wie West, who shot 74.

This marked the primary time the ladies got here to the Lake Course overlooking the Pacific Ocean for a significant. But this venue has a wealthy historical past for the lads, internet hosting 5 U.S. Opens and three U.S. Amateurs amongst different occasions.

The course that performed at 6,361 yards Thursday has historically performed as one of many harder ones regardless of having no water hazards and just one fairway bunker. Only 4 males broke par on the 5 U.S. Opens right here, together with none the previous two instances with Lee Janzen successful at even par in 1998 and Webb Simpson a 1 over in 2012.

Reid set the tempo within the morning. The Englishwoman began on the ninth gap and hit her first two strategy pictures inside 10 ft for birdies on the par 4s. She added birdies on Nos. 15 and 16, one other on her second-to-last gap and had just one bogey all spherical.

“I didn’t think that score was out there honestly,” she mentioned. “I had a pretty good game plan. It’s probably the best I’ve had for a tournament. We had a game plan and stuck to it. If you’re in trouble, just get it out, make bogey. I think the key here is to not take many risks the first two, three days, and I didn’t do that.”

Reid, who received her first LPGA Tour title final October to go along with her six profession wins on the European Tour, has had little profession success on the U.S. Women’s Open. She missed the minimize 4 of her earlier 5 instances at this event and completed tied for fiftieth in her different look in 2012.

Reid mentioned she was helped by a few lengthy conversations with two-time males’s U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka that she carried over into the spherical.

“He gave me a few things that he follows by in a major, so obviously appreciate his help,” she mentioned. “What he told me was, I thought, invaluable honestly, and it made me have a little bit different approach. That’s why I feel like I prepared the best.”

While Reid used a quick begin to get to the highest of the leaderboard, Yin completed robust by making eagle on the par-5 seventeenth and birdie on the par-4 18th to get inside one shot of the lead. The American’s 60-foot putt on 17 helped overcome back-to-back bogeys on the entrance 9.

One of the featured teams within the morning featured sisters Jessica and Nellie Korda, the daughters of 1998 Australian Open males’s tennis champion Petr Korda. Their mother and father took benefit of the grouping and bought to look at each daughters without delay.

Jessica birdied three of her first 5 holes earlier than ending at 72, whereas Nellie shot 78.

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