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May 31, 2023

Megha Ganne

Jersey City, New Jersey, USA

Liberty National Golf Club

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: All right, here with Megha Ganne for her sponsor's invitation playing this week at the Mizuho Americas Open. Congratulations on entering the field.

Just tell us how excited you are to have earned a spot into this event as a amateur?

MEGHA GANNE: Thank you so much. Super, super excited to be here. I love playing events in my home state, and this one is super special. And I love the format of the AJGA players and the LPGA mixing.

What a cool venue to have this at, and so thankful I can be part of this first event.

Q. Speaking of Liberty National, a course you're certainly familiar with. As you said you live the first 15 years of you're life, right, right down the street? What's your familiarity with this course?

MEGHA GANNE: Yeah, I didn't play it much growing up but definitely snuck on it a few holes at night and got kicked off. Some of the security people that I'm now friends with. But I have always loved here and I played AJGA events here a couple times, and couple other rounds.

I definitely have had a few loops around this place. But the views are fantastic. I love it. It's just in the center of everything, and it's a beautiful golf course.

Q. Since you brought it up, we have to hear the story now. Tell us what happened in sneaking onto the course.

MEGHA GANNE: Yeah, so I was there with my sister and two of my friends and we were just taking hopefully not too many divots out of the 14th tee box. It was probably two days after I played in the U.S. Open in 2021. We see this cart rushing towards us and we are like, oh, no, this is not good, because we had never seen a cart before.

A very angry security guard comes out and says like, you guys know there are cameras out here, right? You can't be out here. Very serious. And then he kind of gets closer and he's like I feel like I saw you on TV like yesterday.

I was like, yeah. And then his name is Joe and we've become good friends since. It's a funny story because now I just love playing here officially inside the ropes where I should be.

Q. That's right. Playing within the law this time.


Q. What time was that? Was it at night?

MEGHA GANNE: It was after dark but not too late, yeah.

Q. Amazing. Having lived so close by, what kind of support are you expecting thing week as one of our only New Jersey natives in the field actually?

MEGHA GANNE: What's the what I'll be expecting?

Q. How many people?

MEGHA GANNE: I don't know. The community I lived in is very close to here so I did ask for a bunch of tickets, and my friends and family are all saying they're excited to come. I'll definitely see a lot of them throughout the week. Not sure of the number, though.

Q. Obviously just with everything going on in the NCAAs a couple weeks ago, just what is your energy level like coming into this week? Been a crazy week. Rose talked about it yesterday, flying back and forth and trying to manage the energy level.

MEGHA GANNE: Yeah, my schedule isn't as packed as Rose's, so I'm a little bit more rested than her. I am still in school and have finals and just finished NCAAs. I think I just prioritized sleep and rest and trying to be as chill as possible for the last five days.

I think I've done a pretty good job and I feel rested and ready to go.

Q. Obviously excited to be in this event as a sponsor's invite. How cool is it to be in that event where Rose is making her debut?

MEGHA GANNE: I'm so excited for her. This is such a cool venue to have your debut at. I know she's so ready for it. She has to many supporters from Stanford here and everywhere.

I'm very lucky to call her my friend.

Q. Saw Delta Airlines announced you're going to be an ambassador going forward. That's a big deal. Airlines have not typically sponsored LPGA players in the past. What does that partnership mean to you and how critical is that as you look to the rest of your college career, but also as you look to professional aspirations I would assume?

MEGHA GANNE: Yeah, I'm so excited about the partnership with Delta Airlines and so thankful that they flagged me down and were willing to do this partnership with me. I'm excited about everything they stand for. I know it's a huge deal. I'm still soaking it in.

NIL is so new and I love the impact that it's been making on the women's game already. I am very excited to be at the forefront of that.

Q. Megha, for those that haven't followed Rose's career, curious first what people will see from her. There is a lot of interest in her golf today. What do you think people are going to see?

MEGHA GANNE: More of what she's already shown us in in the past few years. I don't think there is any part of her game or personality or game that's lacking. She's so ready for this.

I'm just really excited for her. I think it's going to be a joy to watch.

Q. Just a follow up, has being around her elevated your game in any way?

MEGHA GANNE: Yeah, absolutely. Her and all of my teammates at Stanford, the type of people that I'm surrounded by at Stanford every day just exude excellence constantly. Being in that environment raises the level for everybody a little bit. She sets the bar so high on the golf course; you're always trying to climb to reach her.

It's been such a privilege to have her for the past year. She's showed me what's possible and kind of just tested like what I thought was impossible on the golf course and opened my eyes to how hard you can work and what you can do.

Q. Along those lines, just for you personally, I mean, people expect her to come out here and become one of the better golfers on the LPGA. Is your goal to someday be her rival, competing for championships for the next 20 years?

MEGHA GANNE: Yeah, I hope so. That's the goal. I would love to be with her out here after college on the Tour, so, yeah.

Q. I was hoping you could tell me about your NIL journey. A lot of the opportunities after Olympic and seemed like you took your time with that.

MEGHA GANNE: Yeah, it was just such a quick turn of golfers being allowed to have NIL. I took it slowly and saw what Rose and my other teammate, Rachel, did, and I had them as examples and people to lean on.

They are with Excel and I joined the same agency. They made it so easy and everything has made so much sense with them and I've been blessed wonderful agents.

I'm starting a partnership with Liberty National which is like, so, so exciting just because I've grown up here. To have this golf course I looked out of my backyard every day and know I have playing rights and practice privileges here, just so lucky to be a part of this golf course in some way.

I have their logo on my golf bag this week, so super special for me this week.

Q. So you literally could see it from your backyard?

MEGHA GANNE: Yeah, yeah.

Q. Wow.

MEGHA GANNE: From my top floor bedroom, you could.

Q. Which hole specifically?

MEGHA GANNE: The 14th -- or 13th. The routing changes sometimes so I get confused, but the par-5.

Q. Tell us what it takes to be successful on this golf course. What are its challenges?

MEGHA GANNE: I think the wind is its big defense, and the golf course plays a little bit differently every day from when I played it.

So I think just making like game-time decisions about the wind, tee boxes, where everything is at is pretty key.

Q. I just want to get your take on you played Olympic last year to the U.S. Women's Open. You're playing at Liberty National. You are hoping or have qualified for Pebble. What is your take on elevating the women's game and getting to those courses? Stanford has the great facilities and you play a lot in the Pac-12. What does it mean to you to get onto these venues?

MEGHA GANNE: Yeah, my qualifier is next week so hoping to get ready for that. The venues mean everything because growing up you watch the U.S. Open and stuff like the Masters at Augusta National, and when I was little I never saw women playing on these venues for their major championships.

Now to have young girls be able to look up and boys to see that anything is possible and see women on places like Augusta National and Pebble Beach and all the future venue for the U.S. Open too.

It's something that's really going to help the game grow and it just means so much because these are the best players in the world and they deserve a standing that reflects that.

Q. How long did it take to set in for what you accomplished at Olympic and when did it open your eyes? Was there a moment where you realized, oh, wow this changed the trajectory of my life?

MEGHA GANNE: I think in the moment definitely was when I realized that, but the affects of that have been pretty long lasting. I still have people that come up to me and ask me about that week. I think as time goes on like even now I'm realizing how much good that's done for me is and what a cool opportunity that was.

I'm just trying to create more moments like those. It's been a great memory but I'm looking forward as well.

Q. How are you a different player now than you were then?

MEGHA GANNE: A lot different player. I think there is a lot of strengths that I showed myself at that golf course. The biggest thing on the golf course is my optimism and positivity. I feel like I had that for the last few years and that's something I always try to maintain because I think it gives me a really big edge.

I can move the ball two ways now which I couldn't then, and that was a big thing I tried to work on after that event. My course management is far better, especially after coming to Stanford and realizing just my coaches and Rose, this is what it takes to really pick apart a golf course better. I got better a lot at that.

And just the experience of being at more and more events you just pick up more from players around you. I think I have a lot more golf knowledge than I did then.

Q. Did that week during U.S. Women's Open create an expectation in your game that you tried to live up to or was it just something you used to push yourself?

MEGHA GANNE: I don't think I saw it setting an expectation. It kind of helped push me through the door of what I want to do one day. Just kind of got my thinking on everything I need to do to win an event like that one day and how do I get there.

It just kind of pushed me forward I think.

Q. Along the lines of your new partnership, what is your favorite airplane snack?

MEGHA GANNE: Airplane snack, I'm not a big snacker on airplanes. I usually just crash when I get on there. I mean, probably just like a ginger ale and peanuts. Nothing too special.

Q. You're pretty close to where your journey started. Have you gone back to any the golf courses you played as a young player, like Weequahic?

MEGHA GANNE: Yeah, Galloping Hills and Weequahic. Yeah, I have. I have not as often as I would like to, but I do remember I visited a couple times in 2022. Those places bring back a lot of the great memories.

THE MODERATOR: All right, thank you so much, Megha.

MEGHA GANNE: Thank you.

THE MODERATOR: Good luck this week.

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