Golf-‘On absolute fire’: New Jersey governor praises surging Ganne

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Jun 4, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Megha Ganne waves after putting out on the eighth green during the second round of the U.S. Women’s Open golf tournament at The Olympic Club. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

June 4, 2021

By Rory Carroll

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – New Jersey high school student Megha Ganne’s unexpected rise to the top of the leaderboard at the U.S. Women’s Open earned her a shout-out from the state’s governor on Friday.

The 17-year-old amateur and overnight co-leader followed up her opening round 67 with an even par 71 to remain four-under at the Olympic Club heading into the weekend of the major tournament.

“New Jersey’s own Megha Ganne is on absolute fire at the #USWomensOpen,” New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy wrote on Twitter.

“Megha – all of New Jersey is behind you as you continue to dominate the leaderboard!”

Unlike many American teenagers, Ganne keeps a low social-media profile and said she was unaware of Murphy’s tweet until reporters told her about it.

“That’s really cool,” she said.

“I didn’t know that I got a shout-out. Having all that support means so much to me, and I think with New Jersey there’s not a lot of representation in general, so it makes it even more exciting that I’m here.”

She said she does not feel she is missing out on much by staying away from social media sites like Instagram and Twitter.

“Of late there’s so much negative effects that I see on teenagers from social media, and it’s, one, a distraction, I think.

“Obviously it has its positive effects and there’s a lot of people who manage it really well, but it’s not something I want to try to experiment with, at least right now. I’m feeling fine without it, so that’s all it is.”

On Thursday Ganne, who played in the Women’s U.S. Open two years ago at age 15, said taming her nerves was key to her success and said she felt even more comfortable on Friday despite the course being blanketed by dense San Francisco fog.

“I was way more calm than yesterday,” she said.

“The first four holes of yesterday I was kind of jittery and a little bit panicked, but on the tee box today I had a bit of a cushion, so I wasn’t as stressed out.

“I thought the course played pretty similar. It was a little bit chillier today and there was some fog in the air in the morning, so it was kind of just adding some yards to all the numbers. So it played a little bit longer, but other than that, pretty similar.”

Ganne, who mixed three birdies with three bogeys on Friday, was the co-leader with Mel Reid on England, who was scheduled to go out as part of the afternoon wave.

Ganne and Reid are currently one stroke ahead of three players at the 76th edition of the tournament.

If no one goes lower, Ganne would be the first amateur to lead or co-lead after 36 holes at the tournament since Carol Semple Thompson in 1978.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll in San Francisco; Editing by Matthew Lewis)





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