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Ally Ewing finds ‘positive energy’ to make major move Saturday at ANA Inspiration

Ally Ewing finds ‘positive energy’ to make major move Saturday at ANA Inspiration

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — A round of golf can mean different things to different people. It can be a place to have fun with friends, a way to get fresh air and exercise and sometimes the golf course can be a place of refuge from the negativity that can inhabit our daily lives.

That was the case Saturday for Ally Ewing.

Ewing told The Golf Channel that she had “kind of a weird morning, I’ll just leave it at that” which led to a shorter warmup period. She didn’t want to go deeper into what made her morning strange, but added that she has “a lot of family that is supporting me through whatever it was.”

Because of whatever of life’s curveballs was thrown her way, Ewing didn’t have high expectations heading to the course Saturday.

“Yeah, well, like I said, the expectations were kind of not there, and I was just looking for some really positive energy on the first tee,” Ewing said.

Well, she found it.

ANA InspirationLeaderboard | Photos

Ewing birdied her first three holes and added three more birdies on the back nine for a bogey-free 6-under 66. It was the best round of the day and also her best round ever at this event. She jumped from 20th at the start of the day to a tie for second. She is five strokes behind leader Patty Tavatanakit, and she is the only American player inside the top 10 on the leader board.

“I just took it one hole at a time and was able to get off to a really good start with three birdies to start the day, then I just kept giving myself a lot of looks, which I think is so important on this golf course,” she said.

Ally Ewing hits out of the sand onto the 11th green during round three of the ANA Inspiration at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., on April 3, 2021.
Ally Ewing 11th Green

The 28-year-old from Mississippi is coming off a successful and eventful 2020.

On the golf course she made 13 of 14 cuts, finishing 11th on the money list and grabbed her first LPGA win in October at the LPGA Drive On Championship Reynolds Lake Oconee in Georgia, which was a new event created because of the cancellation of several Asian events due to COVID-19.

Off the course, she got married in May to Charlie Ewing. LPGA fans may recognize Ally by her maiden name of Ally McDonald. In November, Charlie was named the head coach for the Mississippi State women’s golf team.

Ewing is the No. 34-ranked player in the world. This is only her fourth time playing the ANA, but she has had success here, finishing in a tie for sixth in 2019. She tied for 24th here in September.

That tie for sixth in 2019 marks her best finish in 21 attempts at majors. She is in position to better that Sunday. If she were to rally for the title, she would be the first American to win this event since Brittany Lincicome won it for a second time in 2015.

“I hit a lot of fairways, greens, which is crucial in a major, especially out here,” she said. “And even if I look back on my day I missed several putts inside 10 feet, but, I mean, a 66 on moving day, certainly all you can ask for to put yourself in a good position for tomorrow.”

Shad Powers is a columnist at The Palm Springs (California) Desert Sun, part of the USA Today Network. Reach him at shad.powers@desertsun.com.


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