USA Captain Juli Inkster confirmed Monday that Ally McDonald will serve as first alternate for Team USA at the 2019 Solheim Cup. The 26-year-old from Fulton, Miss., was just on the outside looking in when the team roster was finalized following the CP Women’s Open. She finished ninth in the USA Solheim Cup points standings, just 20.5 points behind Brittany Altomare who captured the eighth and final automatic qualifying spot.
McDonald has six top-20 finishes on the 2019 LPGA Tour season, including at three major championships. Inkster certainly sees her as a future Solheim Cup player. To give her a taste of Cup experience, not to mention the simple fact that it would take a long time to make the trip from the United States to Scotland if needed, Inkster opted to have McDonald on site at Gleneagles.
“She was so close to making the team and I felt like she deserved the opportunity if she wanted it,” said Inkster of McDonald. “I asked her if she would come over and be an alternate and she didn’t hesitate. Hopefully nothing happens to our team but if something does, I have no hesitation to put her in there. She’ll be ready to go.”
McDonald, in her fourth year on the LPGA Tour, would make her Solheim Cup debut if called upon to play this week. She has previous team experience at the 2014 Curtis Cup, where she partnered with Team USA’s Annie Park for a 4-and-3 fourball victory over Bronte Law, who is representing Europe at the Solheim Cup, and Charlotte Thomas.
“I was super excited that she wanted to put me in the alternate role and experience this event no matter what,” said McDonald. “Getting experience and being here as part of Team USA is a lot of fun. Every little piece of energy I can give, whether I’m on the team or as an alternate, is what I’m going to do.”
No substitutions can be made to either team after 5 p.m. BST (12 p.m. EDT) on Thursday.