At U.S. Women’s Open, a 17-Year-Old Amateur Puts Herself in Contention

The U.S. Women’s Open has all through its 76-year historical past been a sort of coming-out celebration for younger gamers, just like the 10-year-old Beverly Klass in 1967, the 11-year-old Lucy Li in 2014 and the 12-year-old Lexi Thompson in 2007. After gaining acclaim for his or her youth, none survived the minimize.

The event is, in concept, probably the most accessible of majors. Nearly half the gamers in this yr’s subject — 76 of the 156 entrants, together with Ganne — earned their berths by way of 36-hole qualifiers held all through the nation. Ganne secured her spot on the second playoff gap of her qualifier. It speaks to the vagaries of golf that a teenager who was on the verge of elimination in qualifying can rise to the highest of the leaderboard by way of two rounds.

“It just all seems really fun and a better story to tell than I got in without a playoff,” Ganne stated. The final novice to guide after a spherical in the U.S. Women’s Open was Jane Park, a 19-year-old who held a share of first place after the opening spherical in 2006 at Newport Country Club.

Ganne’s galleries have included members of the ladies’s golf teaching workers at Stanford, which she has verbally dedicated to attend beginning in the autumn of 2022, and her household. Ganne’s father, Hari, is an information-technology skilled. Her mom, Sudha, is an endocrinologist, and her youthful sister, Sirina, 13, is an eighth grader who additionally performs golf.

Her mom stated her telephone had vibrated in her jacket pocket for the complete second 9 of her daughter’s first spherical and properly into Thursday evening as texts arrived from buddies and neighbors again in New Jersey. She awoke Friday to extra messages from relations in India. On Thursday, Sudha Ganne expressed a need for Megha to stay “a regular kid and enjoy other things” moreover golf.

A day later, Ganne’s mom waded by way of a gallery that had grown tenfold in a single day, stared on the leaderboard together with her daughter’s identify atop it and nervous that somebody had sped up the belt conveying Megha by way of adolescence. She can hear the armchair profession counselors now: If Megha can contend for a $1 million winner’s test whereas nonetheless in highschool, why go to varsity?

“She’s absolutely going to college. There’s no doubt about that,” Ganne’s mom stated.

But just like the calculus homework awaiting Ganne’s consideration, success is introducing sophisticated variables. “I am a little overwhelmed with the attention, but I’m hoping she will cope with it and maybe we will try to help her with it,” Ganne’s mom stated.

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