Meaghan Francella Claims Inaugural New Jersey Women’s Open Championship

Meaghan Francella Claims Inaugural New Jersey Women’s Open Championship

WEST ORANGE, N.J. - Professional Meaghan Francella etched her name in New Jersey history on June 22 as she hoisted the Inaugural New Jersey Women’s Open trophy at Montclair Golf Club. The Philadelphia Cricket Club teaching professional turned in a second round 76 en route to her victory.  

“It's pretty cool to have my name on the trophy, and as the first one is very special,” Francella recalled. “I'm just really happy. I'm ready to bring it back to the Cricket Club and celebrate with everybody.” 


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Francella started the day as the co-leader alongside Woodway Country Club assistant golf professional Alexis Hios.

Throughout a misty and chilly day, the field was tested on the second and third nines of Montclair.

After starting off a bit rocky on the front nine, Francella fell behind, trailing Hios. However, Francella turned things around with an eagle on No. 10, catapulting her to the top of the leaderboard once again.  

“The front nine was pretty frustrating for me, I just couldn't get anything going,” said Francella. “I didn't make any putts, didn't really hit it well. Then I two-putted on No. 8 and I made like a three-footer and that kind of changed my momentum a little bit.” 

A birdie on No. 13 set her apart from the field, but a double bogey on 16 and a bogey on 17 would shift her back into a tie for the lead with Hios. A costly double bogey by Hios on 18 and a clutch par for Francella would be the difference.  


“I felt good. I never felt like it was out of my control, even on the last hole I knew I'm feeling ok,” recalled Francella. Sixteen and 17 were unfortunate, I didn't play those holes as well as I could have, but I just felt calm out there. I was still playing my game, and in it. That’s all it was. I stayed patient and kept plugging away. I knew if I kept doing what I was doing, it was going to put me out on top.” 

Finishing as the low amateur and in solo second place, Ami Gianchandani of Watchung Valley Golf Club carded the low round of the day, a 2-over par 73.  

“With the rain, the key is you have to stay patient all day and I think I was focused on that earlier on today than I necessarily was yesterday,” Gianchandani recalled. “Staying more in the moment, taking it one hole at a time was the key today.” 

Gianchandani will look to reclaim the New Jersey Women’s Amateur before heading to Auburn as a graduate transfer. 

“Being able to shoot pretty well on such a tough course and then place near the top of the field in this event feels really great,” Gianchandani explained. “It’s definitely a step in the right direction for me and I'm really excited that I'm just going to be able to say that I was the low am at this event and carry that into the next few events I play and then eventually into the next and final college season for me.” 

Francella, 41, is a former LPGA Champion, defeating LPGA Hall of Fame golfer Annika Sorenstam in the 2007 MasterCard Classic.  

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