Megan Khang’s dad wanted his daughter to play golf, and to accomplish that goal he employed some devious means.
Simply put, that would be bribery.
“Yes, my dad bribed me at 2 1/2 years old,” Megan revealed with a smile. “He told me if I hit the ball in the fairway, then I would get to drive the golf cart. That was a huge incentive. He would also give me $5 for a birdie in a tournament, and $1 for a par. ”
As Megan put it, “He was the golf fairy.”
Now, at age 15, Megan is enjoying driving the ball more than driving the cart.
She proved that in the Junior Orange Bowl International Championship on Friday at Biltmore Golf Course in Coral Gables.
Khang, from Rockland, Mass., shot a 70 to go with her opening round of 69 on Thursday for a two-round total of 3-under-par 139 and a five-shot lead over Delfina Acosta of Argentina and Nicole Morales of South Salem, N.Y.
Khang revealed why she likes golf so much and works so hard at it. It’s because she considers golf an isolationist sport, something she likes.
“Everything is on you, and you can’t blame anybody else,” she said. “You look in the mirror and you know who hit those shots, good or bad.”
Khang has her sights set on winning the Junior OB, although she conceded, “I would like to get a little bit more of a lead.”
With both of her parents coming to Miami with her, Khang is not only enjoying leading the tournament but also Miami.
“This is definitely nice,” she said, looking around at the surroundings at Biltmore. “There are a lot of great golf courses down here.”
Golf might be Khang’s favorite sport, but there is another activity that comes close.
That would be snowboarding.
“It’s just a hobby, because golf comes first,” she said, “but it’s a lot of fun.”
Right now, she’s missing some prime snowboarding weather and snow up north.
Once again, her dad, seemingly always the troublemaker, got her involved in snowboarding.
“When I was little, he would put me on his shoulders and we would snowboard in the yard,” Khang said.
Mom would look on in fear.
Even Khang, looking back at the shoulder snowboarding, said with a smile, “That probably wasn’t the smartest idea.”
As for the prestigious Junior OB golf tournament and a possible victory, Khang is playing it low-key.
“It would be nice to win, but a win is a win,” she said. “To be honest with you, I don’t know how big a tournament this is to win.”
In the boys’ division, Patrick Kelly of England continued to lead despite still having problems after spending four hours at the hospital on Thursday for severe conjunctivitis and nose bleeds. His physical problems didn’t relent Friday as he suffered several more nose bleeds.
Nevertheless, it did not stop him from shooting a 3-under 68 to go with his 6-under 65 on Thursday, giving him a two-day total of 9-under 133.
In second place, one stroke back, was Corey Pereira of Cameron Park, Calif., at 68-66 — 134 followed by Robin Goger of Austria at 68-67 — 135.
“I actually feel OK,” Kelly said, “but the nosebleeds are annoying.”
Is Kelly certain he’ll be able to finish out the tournament?
“Yes,” he said. “Hopefully, I should be back out here Saturday.”
Junior OB leaders
Boys: 1. Patrick Kelly, England, 65-68—133 (-9); 2. Corey Pereira, Cameron Park, Calif., 68-66--134 (-8); 3. Robin Goger, Austria, 68-67—135 (-7); 4. Jamie Lopez-Rivarola, Argentina, 69-67—136 (-6); 5. Jose Montano, Boliva, 68-69—137 (-5). Girls: 1. Megan Khang, Rockland, Mass., 69-70—139 (-3); 2. Delfina Acosta, Argentina, 68-76—144 (+2); Nicole Morales, South Salem, N.Y., 72-72—144 (+2); 4. Sujin Lee (South Korea) 74-71-145 (+3); 5. Lucia Gutierrez Ballon, Peru, 75-71—146 (+4); Maria Serrano Silva, Colombia, 72-74-146 (+4)