[Editor’s note: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Augusta National Women’s Amateur was cancelled and will not be rescheduled this year. Any competitors who want to play in next year’s tournament will be invited back if they are still amateurs.]
Every April, sleepy Augusta, Georgia, becomes the world capital of golf, as the best professionals in the men’s game compete in the Masters. Heading there nine days earlier to compete in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur will be 72 of the best female amateurs in the world, including Holmdel’s Megha Ganne.
Though the Holmdel High School sophomore, who turned 16 in early March, says the phone call inviting her to compete April 1–4 in the ANWA was “very unexpected,” she is hardly an unknown. Ranked 18th in the nation by the American Junior Golf Association, Ganne won the AJGA’s 2018 championship and the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open Sectional Qualifying tournament at Forsgate Country Club in Monroe. In January, she tied for third in the AJGA’s annual Annika Invitational.
Ganne’s father, Hari, introduced her to golf when she was seven. She eventually devoted herself to it fully, dropping tennis and competitive swimming. “Golf felt more natural to me,” she says. “I felt I was better at it, and I made the most friends playing it, which was most important. I like everything about golf, including snacks at the halfway house.”
What distinguishes her, she says, “is my work ethic off the course. I really enjoy practicing. I always see something to improve on.” Ganne drives the ball about 250 yards (“I don’t miss many fairways”), but calls putting “the strongest part of my game.”
The first two rounds of the ANWA will be played at the Champions Retreat Golf Club in Augusta. The final round will be played on the hallowed fairways of Augusta National, home of the Masters, five days before the men’s tournament starts. “I would love,” Ganne says, “to play all three rounds.”