Khang qualifies for Women's Open, wins pro event
Friday, June 1, 2012
When Megan Khang plays the U.S. Women’s Open in July, she’d like to be paired with someone who matches her 5-foot-1 stature. Among the candidates is LPGA player Ai Miyazato.
The 14-year-old isn’t terribly picky, however, when it comes to standing next to an LPGA player. She’d also take Paula Creamer or Lexi Thompson. Just to be playing in her first Women’s Open is a thrill itself. She’s tried qualifying for the tournament twice before, but this year things just came together. She finished second May 21 at Women’s Open sectional qualifying in Longmeadow, Mass.
“The last two times we tried qualifying for the Open I don’t think we were so close,” Khang says, referring to her and caddie/father Lee. “I don’t think we were close at all.”
Khang, of Rockland, Md., hasn’t even finished her freshman year of high school -- that doesn’t happen until June 14. She doesn’t play on her high school golf team because she likes to play more than practice. For now at least.
Khang also has competed in the past three U.S. Girls’ Juniors, and is a well-known player in the Northeast. A spot in the Women’s Open signals a big a step in her career. You might say it opened a few other doors, too.
At the suggestion of her mother Nou, Khang entered the Connecticut Women’s Open on May 29 and won the 36-hole event by two shots. She took a two-shot lead into the final round, and kept it, finishing ahead of local pro Lynn Valentine, winner of the 2008 championship.
“Qualifying for the Women’s Open built my confidence,” Khang said. “I came in here thinking that I can probably win this so I did. It helped a lot making it to the Open.”
Before this year, Khang had only ever played her home-state Open. She’ll play that later this summer too, and hopes to play both the U.S. Girls’ Junior and U.S. Women’s Amateur.
Khang’s father Lee knows his daughter’s swing well, and serves as her instructor in addition to looping as frequently as he can. When asked what the two are working on, Megan responds dutifully: “Turning my shoulders and not moving off the ball.”
She makes another statement just as matter-of-factly: “I’m not all that into college yet.”
That decision may come later, but the resume building has already begun.