While she missed the cut at the U.S. Women's Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links, few players have been as consistent in major championships this season as Megan Khang. She has finished in the top 10 at the three other majors this season, tying for ninth at The Chevron Championship, tying for third at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship and tying for ninth two weeks ago at The Amundi Evian Championship.
Through the first round at this week's AIG Women's Open, it appears that Khang has carried that consistency with her to Walton Heath Golf Club as the 25-year-old opened with a 2-under, 70 on Thursday to sit in a tie for seventh and two back of the lead held by Ally Ewing. Khang made nine consecutive pars on the front nine to kick off her week in Surrey, England, finally breaking through with back-to-back birdies on holes 10 and 11 to move to 2-under. She stumbled with a bogey on the par-4, 13th hole but erased that blemish with a birdie on the par-3, 17th hole and parred the last to card a smooth and steady 70, her lowest first-round score in the AIG Women's Open since 2019 when she opened with a 67 at Woburn Golf and Country Club.
"Today was just a slow-starting day. I mean, I told Jack (Fulghum. her caddie), the first three holes out here are pretty tough," said Khang, who hit 10 of 15 fairways and 15 of 18 greens in the first round. "On the second hole, I hit my 2-wood off the tee, and then I had to hit 2-wood again, and I didn't even get to the green. Getting some good pars at the start of the round was really solid, and then gave myself some good opportunities and then really loosened up with the first birdie on 10. Overall, a pretty steady day. It helped having two other playing partners who were playing pretty good themselves."
This is Khang's eighth appearance in the AIG Women's Open, and in her seven previous starts, she recorded two top-25 finishes, a T11 in 2016 at Woburn and a T22 in 2020 at Royal Troon. This is her 15th event of the 2023 LPGA Tour season, and much like she has in the majors, the Massachusetts native has been steady, only missing two cuts and recording five top-15 results.
While she's still looking for her first career LPGA Tour victory, her mind has likely been more focused on making the United States team for the 2023 Solheim Cup, which will be played in late September at Finca Cortesin in Andalucia, Spain. Khang is currently fourth in the standings with 302.5 points, so she shouldn't have much to worry about, but a solid performance this week would move her closer to mathematically clinching one of the coveted 12 spots on the U.S. team. However, Khang isn't worrying too much about how things will ultimately shake out, choosing to instead focus on the challenge currently in front of her at Walton Heath Golf Club and the 54 holes she has left to play in the AIG Women's Open.
"Obviously, (the Solheim Cup) is a huge honor, and it's been a huge deal. I played my first one back in 2019, and the first one I played, and I said to a bunch of the veterans, I understand why no one else wants to miss it once you make the team," said Khang, who has a 1-3-2 record in the two Solheim Cups that she has played in. "It's coming up quick. But, right now, I'm trying to focus on this week and trying to get some good rounds in and get my game ready for that time comes."