Megha Ganne inspires hometown fans at ShopRite LPGA Classic
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Megha Ganne inspires hometown fans at ShopRite LPGA Classic

GALLOWAY, N.J.—Megha Ganne certainly looks the part of an LPGA Tour player. At first glance, she could easily pass for an LPGA cardholder who grinds every week for LPGA titles. But she’s actually a 17-year-old local high school student playing in the 2021 ShopRite Classic on a sponsor’s exemption.

She’s played in some of the best junior events in golf, advanced deep into the US Women's Am and finished as the low amateur at the US Women’s Open in June. On a chilly Saturday morning she donned a Junior Solheim Cup jacket and had a matching USA bag.

When it warmed up, she had a light green shirt and white pants along with a white Nike hat—the typical modern Tour pro look. The Stanford ball mark clipped to her hat showed where she will likely become a superstar in college golf beginning next fall.

Ganne was inside the cut line at 2 under through 27 holes, but a 6-over 40 on the back nine led to a fall down the leaderboard and a missed cut after rounds of 70 and 76. Ganne kept her mindset up throughout and was laughing and smiling with her caddy on the 18th tee.

Ganne certainly has the distance to keep up with the longest LPGA Tour players—she averaged 260 yards off the tee this week—but struggled on the greens Saturday. Ganne learned a lot about her game despite the missed cut.

“Just a lot of details about my game that I've found out that always reveal themselves under pressure and in situations like this. So I have some things I want to work on over the winter and be back better for next year,” Ganne said.

She has plenty of things to work on, but she still comes away confident about some parts of her game.

“I've worked a lot on my driving and my ball striking. I definitely see that it resembles more like what these girls had out here. So definitely good things,” Ganne said.

Ganne was excited to play with Maria Fassi, who shot 67 and is currently tied for 13th.

“I was stoked to see that I was paired with her. I like to channel her type of energy every time I play,” Gahne said. "And she told me on one of the tee boxes that she sees herself in me except a little bit better. And that is the best thing you could possibly hear from one of your idols."

Gahne had plenty of support this week in her hometown event, at one point a fan yelled out that Homdel loves her. She spent plenty of time after the round signing autographs and taking pictures, some young girls came up to her to say that she has inspired them.

Overall, Gahne leaves with confidence. She said Fassi gave her some insight about life on Tour and believes that she could see herself playing on the LPGA Tour one day.

About the author

Peter Santo

Peter Santo

Peter Santo is a golf writer and a graduate of Emerson College. He previously covered all sports for The Boston Globe, Associated Press, and The Washington Times.

When not writing about or playing golf, he can often be found listening to or creating country music.

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