This week at the Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play presented by MGM Rewards, defending champion Ally Ewing isn’t spending any time looking in the rearview mirror as she readies herself for a grueling five days of matches in the heat of the Mojave Desert. She’s of course got fond memories from her win at Shadow Creek last year fueling her fire and is confident in her ability at a venue that’s notoriously enigmatic. But Ewing is more focused on what’s in front of her and is ready to rock and roll in the shadow of the Las Vegas Strip as she looks ahead to her opening match on Wednesday.
“I've talked with my caddie a good bit this week just trying to build off positive memories from last year, but also put those in the rear window because it doesn't do me any good for this week other than to take the positives,” said Ewing who defeated major champion Sophia Popov, 2 and 1, in the final match of last year’s tournament. “I don't want to live in the past. We can take positives, but unless someone asks, we're done talking about last year. It's over. It doesn't get me anything for this year. Just going to go try and compete my hardest and grind it out.”
2022 hasn’t been very kind to Ewing thus far. The 29-year-old has missed three cuts in eight starts and her best finish is a T11 at the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio back in January. Two weeks ago at the Cognizant Founders Cup in New Jersey, Ewing entered the weekend tied for second and just three shots back of the lead held by eventual champion Minjee Lee, but played her way out of contention with rounds of 74 and 75 on the weekend.
Any other player would consider themselves in a slump with that track record, but true to her Mississippi State Bulldog roots, Ewing is imperturbable and feels like both her game and her mind are ready for every challenge the next five days of matches will provide.
“Obviously, when you're playing match play, your opponent kind of dictates a lot of what you do, but as far as how I'm going to approach each match and each hole, it'll be a similar stroke play mentality with how to get it around the golf course,” she said. “Tomorrow it's just going to be one shot, one hole at a time. Jodi (Ewart Shadoff) is a great player. We've seen her play great golf and play the Solheim Cup so I'm sure it'll be a great match.”