The phrase “Drive On” has extra meaning for Mississippi native Ally Ewing. As a child, she learned the game on a nine-hole golf course that didn’t have a driving range. As a high-school student, she played on the boys’ golf team (her school didn’t have a girls’ team) and became the first girl to win the Mississippi boys’ state championship. As a college student, she recorded five wins at Mississippi State and still holds almost every individual record in MSU history.
As a young professional, Ewing finished 2016 with the second highest earnings total ($110,359) in Epson Tour history, all while learning how to change her lifestyle after a Type I Diabetes diagnosis. Finally, after four years battling into contention on the LPGA Tour, Ewing earned her first professional victory at Reynolds Lake Oconee in 2020. The tournament? The second playing of the LPGA Drive On Championship.
“I remember it was my birthday. My parents were there, which was just great, especially considering COVID had shut them down from coming to really any event. It was pretty close to home,” said Ewing of that win in Georgia. “So, it's kind of crazy to reflect back on it. It certainly was a huge confidence boost for me in where I was now versus then.”
Since then, Ewing has added a second victory to her resume, winning the inaugural Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play Hosted by Shadow Creek in 2021, and represented the USA at the Solheim Cup. She comes to Crown Colony Golf and Country Club off a tie for 11th at last week’s Gainbridge LPGA, excited for a week that hopes will feel like a return to Georgia’s lake country.
“I think the just the Drive On experience itself is kind of the atmosphere that it creates; it's kind of unique because it is an LPGA-run tournament, which is different than our sponsor-run tournaments,” said Ewing. “It has a great feel. Everything is tightknit with it being streamed on Peacock, members-only (galleries). So, it does feel like a smaller atmosphere, which is unique. Sure, I can create some vibes of Reynolds Lake Oconee if I need to.”
Ewing’s #DriveOn mentality on the golf course has now extended outside the ropes. In late 2020, she was elected by her fellow Tour members to represent them as a Player Director on the LPGA Board of Directors. On Monday, she joined fellow new Player Director Stacy Lewis in a crash course on the business side of life on the road with the LPGA Tour.
“I've always tried to see the bigger picture of the golf avenue where I know it's more than just showing up to a golf tournament, teeing it up on Thursday, getting prep in. I know there are a ton of things that go on behind the scenes,” said Ewing. “For me, it was trying to jump into a role where I could truly understand and appreciate that, and also just be a representative for our tour.”