Megha Ganne – shares the lead with Mel Reid- photo USGA

17-year-old American amateur, Megha Ganne, and 33-year-old Englishwoman, Mel Reid, lead after day one of the US Women’s Open at Olympic Club in San Francisco, the pair tied at 4 under and one ahead of Brooke Henderson, Megan Khang and Angel Yin.

Ganne, a high school student in New Jersey, held the outright lead until a bogey at her final hole but it was a very impressive effort for the youngster playing in her second US Women’s Open, six birdies and two bogeys rounding out a very special effort on the demanding Olympic layout.

Ganne is already in line for a place on the nearby Stanford University golf team in 2022, so this region will become more familiar to her over the next few years but she showed she has the maturity and game to suggest an exciting future.

Ganne appeared to have benefited from playing the event previously and said as much after her round.

“I think the first time is nerve-racking for anybody and meeting your idols and being on the stage for the first time.

“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.

“I think just my ability to play smart and not take any unnecessary risks, and I didn’t panic when I got into the rough a couple of times out there because there are definitely holes I wasn’t keeping in the fairway, and it’s easy to panic out there, and I didn’t do that.”

Reid was a little surprised with her impressive start, not because she doubted her capacity to do so but the layout and the USGA set-up did not appear to offer such opportunity before she headed out.

“I didn’t think that score was out there honestly,” said Reid. “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.

“The rough is definitely up. I think they cut it a little bit from Monday. Monday I could barely get a 9-iron 60 yards. We don’t have the same strength as men. I love the rough personally.

“This is exactly how a U.S. Open should be. This is an unbelievable golf course. As soon as I rocked up here I thought, this is the kind of golf courses we want to play.”

Reid also gave credit to four-time major champion and close friend Brooks Koepka who she talked to on the eve of the event.

“I texted Brooks on Tuesday. We had a long conversation and then we Face-Timed for an hour on Tuesday night. He gave me a few things that he follows by in a major, so obviously appreciate his help.

“What he told me was, I thought, invaluable honestly, and it made me have a little bit different approach. That’s why I feel like I prepared the best and yeah, I’m just trying to be a bit more like Brooks, honestly.”

Mel Reid today – photo USGA Darren Carroll.

Lydia Ko heads the seven player down under contingent, the New Zealander moving within one of the lead at one stage before dropping four shots in four holes on the back nine. She would eventually finish at even par 71 and is well placed with a morning round to follow on day two.

Minjee Lee and Hannah Green lead the Australians after completing their morning rounds at 2 over 73 and while not the scores they were hoping for they are far from out of the contest as the event heads into day two.

Brisbane raised but now US based amateur Emily Mahar finished at 6 over while Sarah Jane Smith was at 7 over along with Sarah Kemp.

New Zealand’s recently turned professional Amelia Garvey performed well with a round of 74 to be 3 over.

Lydia Ko heads the ‘down under’ players with a round of 71 – photo Robert Beck USGA