Megan Khang, 17, of Rockland, Massachusetts began the day with a three shot lead at seven under-par and never looked back, capturing her third Women’s Open title in record fashion with rounds of 65-64—129. She finished the day nine strokes clear of Ashlan Ramsey of Greenvile, South Carolina, who took home low professional honors.
Conducted by the Connecticut State Golf Association, the Connecticut Women’s Open is a 36-hole stroke play competition being played at the Golf Club of Avon in Avon, Connecticut on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 18th and 19th. The tournament is open to any amateur or professional female golfer regardless of residency, and annually attracts some of the top competitors from across the country.
At 5,805 yards and a par of 72, the Golf Club of Avon tested both professional and amateur players over the last two days. Competitors had perfect playing conditions going into the final round, and with the temperature in the mid-80s and a nice, steady breeze throughout the day, the players could not have competed in better weather.
Khang, the 2012 and 2013 champion, began the day with birdies on holes #1 and 5 to go to nine-under par for the tournament, but suffered a pair of bogies on the 6th and 8th holes that dropped her back to even par for the day. With Ramsey making an early move with birdies on the 4th, 5th and 8th holes, Khang’s lead was down to three, but like a true champion, she didn’t let that affect her game.
“After I made bogey on six and Ashlan made birdie, I had that feeling that it was close and I knew I needed to play well going forward,” said Khang. “I managed to get around the front nine in one under, and once I made the turn I said to myself, ‘You have a little cushion, so play like you know how to play’. Luckily everything worked out in my favor.”
Khang responded to the pressure by playing her last ten holes in eight under-par, recording six birdies and an eagle for a back-nine score of 29. After making birdies on #10 and 12, she went on to birdie #14, 15, 16 and make an eagle on the drivable par-4 17th, good enough for a record-breaking score of eight under-par 64. Her two round total of 129 (-15) broke the Women’s Open record for lowest 36-hole total by nine shots, previously held by Suzy Whaley and Natalie Shaeary. Her round of 64 also set the competitive course record at the Golf Club of Avon, and was the lowest competitive round of her young career.
"Winning here is such an honor, especially since I wasn’t able to defend last year," said Khang. "Coming here and competing against such great players like Ashlan Ramsey meant I had to make sure to stay in my own game. It really gives me a lot of confidence going forward."
Khang, who graduated from Rockland High School this spring, will be remaining an amateur throughout the fall as she attempts to qualify for the LPGA Tour. Last week, she advanced through the first stage of the three stage qualifying tournament, and will play the second stage in Florida this October. For Khang, winning the Women’s Open adds to an already impressive summer that has included winning the Women’s Eastern Amateur and claiming low amateur honors at the U.S. Women’s Open.
“Finishing low amateur at the Women’s Open really gave me a lot of confidence,” said Khang. “I managed to stay confident with my game and carry the momentum throughout the summer.”
Ashlan Ramsey of Greenville, South Carolina shot a round of 71 (-1) on the first day and 67 (-5) on the second for a two-round total of 138, good enough for Runner-Up and Low Professional Honors.. Ramsey had three birdies on the front nine and three birdies on the back, matched with just one bogey, catapulting her up the leaderboard into second place.
“I knew I had to play well today to have a chance and I felt like the course really suited me well,” said Ramsey. “I tried to go out today and hit a lot of greens. I did that, and had a lot of putts that burned over the edge but it ended up being good enough.”
There is no doubt that Khang has earned the spot as the third ranked junior in the country, according to Golfweek. She can now add another Connecticut Women’s Open title to her preexisting back-to-back titles from 2012 and 2013. Khang definitely has a bright future ahead of her and should be on everyone’s radar in the coming years.