Posted: July 12, 2015 8:52 pm
There’s no trophy for the top-scoring amateur at the U.S. Women’s Open. But it’s a sure bet those in that field were vying for the title.
“I did know where I was because the two behind me, Mariel (Galdiano) and Muni (He) are actually my friends, so we’re all close. I know we’re all friends, but on the golf course we’re fighting to the last second,” amateur Megan Khang said Sunday. “So I knew where I was, and I wanted it to stay that way.”
Khang entered Sunday as the leader among the bunch of five amateurs still playing into Sunday, one stroke in front of He and Galdiano, two strokes in front Emma Talley and three strokes in front of Hannah O’Sullivan.
He and O’Sullivan dropped off Sunday, both finishing at 8-over par, while Talley had a rough outing, shooting 5-over for the final round to finish 11-over for the week. Galdiano, however, shot 1-over par in Round No. 4, finishing at 6-over par for the week.
Khang admitted she “was looking, but I wasn’t really occupied about” the other amateurs. So she felt a bit of pressure Sunday when she sat at 5-over going into the 235-yard No. 16, which she then birdied in three shots.
“Going into 16, I knew I needed a birdie. But we went in there, it was (235 yards),” she said. “My dad convinced me to hit driver. So I thought I was going to hit a hard 3-wood, but driver was the right play because I could just hit it smooth and it actually went a little long. But I knew that I could get up and down, so I relied on my short game on that hole and luckily I did make birdie.”
Khang later bogeyed No. 18 to finish at 5-over par for the week. So, had she not hit the birdie on No. 16, she would’ve tied Galdiano for the highest amateur score. Instead, Khang finished all alone atop the amateur mountain.
“It’s definitely among the top,” Khang said when asked where this performance stacks up in her career. “I think maybe No. 1 right now, besides (finishing as the top U.S. Open qualifier at) Kingsmill, because it is the U.S. Women’s Open and it is the best women in the world. It’s great to compete out here with them.”
A recent graduate of Rockland (Mass.) High School, Khang is still undecided on if she’ll turn pro or go on to play in college. Her performance this week, though, will play a part in the decision.
“It does — I’m not going to lie, it does influence me a little to come out here and play on the (LPGA) Tour,” Khang said. “We’ll see how this year goes as an amateur.”