Rohanna prepares for U.S. Women's Open

Rachel Rohanna lines up a shot off the tee on the practice range Wednesday morning in preparation for today's first round of the U.S. Women's Open at the Country Club of Charleston.

Rachel Rohanna last played in the nation's golf championship in 2013, but the Waynesburg Central graduate said she's not nervous as she prepares for Thursday's opening round of the 2019 U.S. Women's Open.

"No, I feel good," said Rohanna as she looked ahead to playing in her third U.S. Open.

Rohanna last played in the U.S. Open in 2013 and nearly qualified for the weekend rounds after missing the cut by just one stroke. She opened with a 2-over 74 at Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y., but then had a bit of misfortune in the second round to finish with 77.

Rohanna had a poor tee shot into No. 17, a 164-yard par-3, that morphed into a triple bogey-6.

To make matters worse, Rohanna had to sleep on the round and hope a handful of the 42 golfers still on the course when the second round was suspended because of fog would have poor finishes. When the fog cleared and the second round was completed early Saturday morning, Rohanna missed the cut at 6-over 150 by one stroke.

She played in her first national championship back in 2011 at The Broadmoor East Course in Colorado Springs, Colo. Rohanna finished with an 11-over 153 (73-80) and missed the cut by four strokes.

The starting field of 156 golfers will be cut after 36 holes to the low 60 scorers and ties.

The host Country Club of Charleston in Charleston, S.C., has a long, storied history.

"It's an old school country club, like Sara Bay (Country Club in Sarasota, Fla.). It has a huge clubhouse," describe Rohanna. "It's going to play good, though. It's going to provide a good test. It's not playing real long, but the winds can blow. It'll be a test around the greens and with approach shots.

"The USGA always adds some drama. We'll see how this plays out."

Another feature of an older golf course is large greens.

"The greens are very undulating. It feels like a Donald Ross design, though it's not. The course has very big greens. You can have a 120-foot putt. If you miss the green, you can have a 30-yard shot which is tough because the greens are so firm."

The one dynamic out of the control of the USGA are the weather conditions. While no rain is expected over the four days, temperatures are forecasted to reach the low- to mid-90s each day with not much cloud cover.

"You definitely have to grind it out. (The temperature) affects your game," said Rohanna. "(Tuesday) was 97 (degrees) with a feel of 103.

"The ball flies farther when it's hot like this. I say five percent.

"Physically, I don't notice much. You just grind through the tournament."

Rohanna enters the U.S. Women's Open on a bit of a roll after finishing ninth last week in the Symetra Tour's Zimmer Biomet Championship hosted by Nancy Lopez with a four-round total of 5-under 283. She's played even-par or lower in five of her last seven rounds.

"Momentum? For sure," said Rohanna. "I'm hitting the ball real well.

"I have a good caddie, Jody Keepers. He's been on the bag for most of my events this year."

Rohanna will also have her family present for the tournament, with her husband Ethan, daughter Gemelia and parents, Tom and Debbie Rohanna in attendance.

"We're dressing Gemelia in a lot of red, white and blue. She'll be in daycare (for the tournament) for the first time," said Rohanna. 

Rohanna isn't overwhelmed with playing in the U.S. Open, but understands it's just not another tournament.

"It's extremely difficult to place a major as just another golf tournament," said Rohanna. "Mentally, it's the same, but at the same time, it's different. You tell your body and mind to take it as the same, but in your heart you know it's different."

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