Pennsylvania native and LPGA mother Rachel Rohanna hits her first tee shot at the USWO | LPGA

LANCASTER, Pa. – Two-time Epson Tour winner and Pennsylvania native Rachel Rohanna had the honor of teeing off at the 79th U.S. Women's Open presented Ally on Thursday.

Rohanna, who has held both LPGA and Epson Tour status since the beginning of her career, is a native of Marianna, Pennsylvania, and was in the first group to tee off at 6:45 a.m. for the first round of the second major championship of the 2024 season. For Rohanna, the early morning moment now ranks high on her list of golfing accomplishments, especially because her friends, family and even her children were there to watch her shine as the sun rose at Lancaster Country Club.

“In Pennsylvania, the US Women's Open and Carol Semple Thompson as the announcer. It doesn't get much cooler than that,” said Rohanna about her first tee shot. “Unfortunately, I hooked the ball a little bit, but you know what? I got off the tee and was able to swing on the second shot. That was really special, really cool. You only experience something like that once in your life.”

The U.S. Women's Open hasn't been played in the Keystone State since the event was held nine years ago in 2015 at Lancaster Country Club. Since the Epson Tour doesn't stop in Pennsylvania every year—the tour Rohanna competes on these days—it's rare for Rohanna to play in front of a home crowd. That not only made her first shot of the round on Thursday morning all the more enjoyable, but it also made the entire experience a pleasure for Rohanna, who is teeing off at the U.S. Women's Open for the first time since 2019.

“I'm from Western Pennsylvania, so I had a three-and-a-half to four-hour drive ahead of me, but being the only Pennsylvanian here is really cool,” Rohanna said. “Also having the whole family come. It was really great. We had such a great turnout in general. I'm excited to be here and do this in Pennsylvania.”

The 33-year-old is an LPGA mom and has two daughters – six-year-old Gemelia and eight-month-old Greenlee, who was born last September. Balancing life as a professional athlete and motherhood can be challenging, but it's a journey Rohanna is more than used to, having welcomed her first child in 2018.

And nothing stops her from fulfilling this motherly role to her two little girls, not even a major tournament like the US Women's Open.

“It's chaos. You have to juggle everything. Nothing is in balance. You don't know where you're going to be, what you're going to do,” Rohanna said. “Today, on the 12th hole, when there was a group of four, I changed a dirty diaper. It's great. Yes, it's chaotic, and so is my husband's job.”

“It takes a village. Our families are both very dedicated and help us. I really wouldn't have it any other way. They are both so sweet. They are such good kids. The fact that they are here this week makes it even more special.”

Rohanna shot a 6-over-par 76 in the first round of the U.S. Women's Open. She will start from No. 10 at 12:30 p.m. local time on Friday at Lancaster Country Club.

Anna Harden

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