By Rory Carroll
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - High school student Megha Ganne showed remarkable composure in compiling a four-under-par 67 at the U.S. Women's Open on Thursday to sit tied for the lead after the first round of the major.
The 17-year-old amateur, who mixed six birdies with a pair of bogeys behind some outstanding putting, is making her second appearance at the tournament and said she felt more at ease this time around.
"I think the first time is nerve-racking for anybody -- meeting your idols and being on the stage for the first time," said Ganne, who is co-leader with England's Mel Reid.
"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. So I got that out of the way the first time around.
"Definitely a little bit easier this time."
Her first impression of The Olympic Club's sprawling Lake Course, with its narrow fairways, ankle-high rough and postage-stamp sized greens, rattled her.
"It was kind of terrifying to see it for the first time, but I got some rounds in and gained a little bit of confidence," she said.
"I didn't panic when I got into the rough a couple of times out there 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," added Ganne, who plans to attend Stanford University.
"I think just knowing that everyone in the field has to deal with it, and whoever makes the smartest choices out of there and picks the best lines and doesn't take unnecessary risks is going to be the person who ends up better off."
Ganne will go out as part of the morning wave on Friday.
(Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Peter Rutherford)