Saturday’s lowest round belonged to Ally Ewing, who opened with three straight birdies and added in three more on the back nine for a 6-under 66. That career-low round on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course jumped the Mississippi native from a tie for 20th into a tie for second with defending champion Mirim Lee heading into Sunday’s final round of the ANA Inspiration.
“It was just kind of just a great day. I hit a lot of fairways, greens, which is crucial in a major, especially out here,” said Ewing, whose best ANA finish is a tie for sixth in 2019. “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.”
If Ewing were to emerge victorious on Sunday, she would become the 19th player to earn her first major title at the ANA Inspiration and the fourth consecutive, joining Pernilla Lindberg (2018), Jin Young Ko (2019) and Mirim Lee (2020). She would also become the first American major winner since Angela Stanford won the 2018 Evian Championship and the first major winner ever from Mississippi State University.
Ewing became a Rolex First-Time Winner at the 2020 LPGA Drive On Championship at Reynolds Lake Oconee, celebrating that first victory on her 28th birthday. With the win came confidence and experience that she plans to rely upon as she steps to the tee in Sunday’s final round with a major title on the line, playing in the final group alongside leader Patty Tavatanakit.
“To rely on something that you've done before I think is a very settling feeling,” said Ewing. “Certainly it's a major championship and it's a little bit different, but I think the biggest part for me when I got that win was the day before and the morning before I teed off every day, on Saturday, Sunday I had great conversations with my caddie and just making myself aware of the uncomfortability that I was going to feel and acknowledging that.
“If you try to brush it off and put it to the side, then you're not acknowledging the truth. So I'm going to go ahead and acknowledge that it's probably going to be tough tomorrow. I'm going to feel uncomfortable at times, but I'll embrace it and try to do the best I can.”