Holmdel golfer participates in Girls Junior PGA Championship

Holmdel High School girls’ golfer Megha Ganne is having quite a year.

On April 23 at Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township, Ganne qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open Championship when she finished first in a sectional qualifier.

Then she played in the U.S. Women’s Open on May 30 and 31 at the Country Club of Charleston in South Carolina.

A little over a month later, from July 9-12 at the Keney Park Golf Course in Hartford, Conn., Ganne played in a major amateur tournament, too, the 44th Girls Junior PGA Championship.

The rising sophomore at Holmdel did not win either tournament. She missed the cut at the U.S. Women’s Open and came in sixth at the Girls Junior PGA Championship. But those were still impressive finishes for a high school underclassman.

“It definitely gives you a layer of confidence to know you’ve played on much bigger stages,” Ganne said. “There are so many great players though and you can’t take anything for granted.”

Ganne actually played in the Girls Junior PGA Championship last year, too, coming in 26th. She improved by 20 places this year, and she attributed that improvement to playing in the U.S. Open before the Junior PGA.

At the U.S. Open, Ganne played in a practice round with Lexi Thompson and Azahara Munoz, two Ladies Professional Golf Association players she admires. Then she played with Megan Osland, another pro, during the tournament.

The experience taught Ganne that she can hang with those players.

“I was proud of how I played. The first six holes were nerve wracking but I played how I wanted the remaining 29,” she said. “I compared my game to the pros next to me. I learned I’m where they are or at least close.”

“It was everything I wanted it to be,” Ganne added. “It taught me I want to be in that environment. All the goals I had are attainable.”

Now Ganne will focus on the last month of her summer before school. She is still planning on playing in a United States Golf Association tournament and a couple American Junior Golf Association tournaments, which are also for players 18 and under but a step below the USGA.

After those tournaments, though, Ganne will return to Holmdel for the 2019-20 school year, her sophomore year.

Last year, as Holmdel’s No. 1 girls’ golfer, she helped the Hornets win the Shore Conference Tournament for the third consecutive season.

But she fell short of winning the NJSIAA Individual Tournament of Champions state title. Immaculate Heart Academy junior Yoona Kim won the T of C, so Ganne still has room to grow and titles to pursue within the state of New Jersey.

And she is well aware of that.

“I’ve made a lot of progress,” Ganne said. “But I’m nowhere near where I need to be on a junior level, so I’m still focusing on junior events.”

Ganne will have two priorities in school this year.

“I just want to get good grades and play on the golf team,” she said. “I have no more plans than that.”