17-year-old amateur Megha Ganne takes share of lead early at U.S. Women's Open

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A high school junior grabbed a share of the lead Thursday at The Olympic Club in San Francisco behind an impressive opening round of the U.S. Women’s Open.

17-year-old Megha Ganne, an amateur out of Holmdel High School, posted a 4-under 67 in Round 1 at the major championship. She is one of two amateurs inside the top 20, along with Gurleen Kaur.

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Ganne actually played the event for the first time two years ago when she was 15 years old and a freshman in high school. She posted an opening round 10-over that year in Charleston, South Carolina, however, and missed the cut — something she credited largely to nerves of being on one of the LPGA’s biggest stages.

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“This morning I had this really strange flashback as I was marking my golf balls,” Ganne said after her round. “I remember when I was in Charleston for my first Women’s Open, I couldn’t even write the circles on my golf balls because my hands were shaking so badly.

“This morning, I was going away at it, so I definitely feel like I’ve matured and been able to handle the pressure better than the first time around. I think the key is just playing in these more and more and you get better at it.”

Ganne got off to a great start on Thursday, making three birdies on her front nine without a single bogey.

Though the Stanford commit bogeyed twice on the back nine — including on No. 18, which cost her the solo lead — she made another three to offset them and grab a share of the lead at 4-under with Mel Reid and Brooke Henderson.

“I feel more ready than I did last time for sure,” Ganne said earlier this week, via the Asbury Park Press. “I played well second day once I dealt with the pressure a little bit better than I did on the first day [last time]. I think everyone here has the ability to play well, but there are other factors you have to deal with.”

Megha Ganne at the U.S. Women's Open
Megha Ganne, a high school junior, fired a 4-under 67 Thursday to kick off the U.S. Women's Open at The Olympic Club on in San Francisco, California. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

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