Stephanie Meadow will need to produce a big Friday performance to ensure weekend progression after a tough opening day at the US Women’s Open on the Lake Course at The Olympic Club.
The Jordanstown professional struggled around the notoriously difficult San Francisco track on day one, carding six bogeys and just one birdie in a five-over par round of 76 that leaves her two shots outside the current projected cut-mark.
Meadow found only 9 of 18 greens in regulation and needed 32 putts and with winds forecast for another cool day in San Fran on Friday, Meadow will need to be firing on all cylinders to find herself in the weekend draw.
At the head of affairs, England’s Mel Reid and American amateur, Megha Ganne set the pace after superb four-under par opening 67’s. Many believed, given both the wind and rough is up this week, that such a score wasn’t out there. Even 33-year old Solheim Cup star Reid was surprised by how low she managed to go.
“I didn’t think that score was out there honestly,” said Reid who posted five birdies. “I had a pretty good game plan. It’s probably the best I’ve had for a tournament. We had a game plan and stuck to it. If you’re in trouble, just get it out, make bogey. I think the key here is to not take many risks the first two, three days, and I didn’t do that.
“I’ll probably get criticised, but I’m one of the stronger players. Even if I’m in the rough and I have a decent-ish lie, I can kind of hack it out. Very, very happy with the way we started. Felt like I played very, very solid.”
Reid was asked, even from her lofty post of four-under par, if she felt an even par four round total would be enough to win the tournament outright should conditions remain as tough as Thursday’s opening challenge.
“I mean, I don’t know, but I think if you shoot level par I really don’t think you’ll be far off, if I’m honest. I think the conditions are going to get tougher. The rough is going to grow up a bit. The greens are going to get firmer,” she added.
“If it gets windy, it’s a tough golf course. You cannot switch off on any single hole. There’s no hole that you’re like, Right, we can ease off. There’s no hole like that out here.”
That will be music to the ears of Meadow who knows that if she’s to produce an even par second round effort, that should see her safely through to the weekend. However, whatever about a person of Reid’s strength and experience finding herself atop the board at one of golf’s fiercest tests, the sight of amateur Ganne not just competing with the world’s best but coming out on top on day one is surely the story of the day.
Just 17, this week marks Ganne’s second US Open appearance, though her opening 67 is 14 shots better than the 81 that led to a missed cut in 2019.
“I think the first time is nerve-racking for anybody and meeting your idols and being on the stage for the first time,” said the Stanford student.
“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.”
- Full scoring HERE