Surprise leader at U.S. Women’s Open thinks her rental is haunted

Wichanee Meechai watches a shot during the U.S. Women's Open.

Wichanee Meechai thinks there might be a ghost in her rental house this week.

Jack Hirsh/GOLF

LANCASTER, Pa. — Sleeping on the third-round lead is hard enough for any pro. Add to it the pressures of a major championship, and most players don’t get a full night’s rest before the biggest days of their careers.

Wichanee Meechai falls into both categories after she shot her third straight round in the 60s Saturday at Lancaster Country Club to share the 54-lead in the U.S. Women’s Open with Minjee Lee and Andrea Lee at five under.

But Meechai, who advanced through qualifying to make it to her fourth U.S. Open appearance (and first in three years), may be sleepless for a different reason Saturday night. She thinks there might be a ghost in her rental house.

The 31-year-old from Thailand revealed Friday night after she took the 36-hole lead that she thought her home for the week might be haunted, but updated reporters Saturday that there was little paranormal activity the previous night.

“I’m not going to say I’m not afraid of it, but I will get along pretty well with the ghost,” Meechai said. “I’m trying not to say anything if I hear something, so I’m just trying to act normal.”

Meechai is a Buddhist and said she does in fact believe in ghosts. In Tibetan Buddhist culture, when a human dies, they may enter the ghost world after a period of uncertainty.

It’s something Meechai said she’s talked about before, explaining there is something in her religion like a shadow world.

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Her manager even offered to spend the night with her in the rental house to make her feel more comfortable, but Meechai declined and said she was just trying to get along with the potential spirit visitor. However, she said she would wear a Buddhist necklace for protection when she goes to sleep.

“You have like a monk or something that you respect and you just put it on your neck, and I put it on my neck when I sleep, so I think it should be fine,” she said.

The World No. 158 has never been in a position like this before. Meechai’s best career finish on the LPGA Tour is a T5 at the 2021 Pure Silk Championship. Aside from a T7 finish three weeks ago at the Cognizant Founders Cup, she hasn’t finished inside the top 20 in any of her six other starts this season.

But this week in Lancaster, she’s one of just two golfers to break 70 in all three rounds. So if there is a supernatural spirit occupying her house this week, it might be giving her the edge she needs to capture her breakthrough victory.

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