This past Sunday, Ally McDonald became the first Mississippi State University alumna to win an event on the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour by claiming first place in the LPGA Drive On Championship.
McDonald graduated from MSU in 2015, and during her time in Starkville, Mississippi, she won five amateur events. After graduating, she began her professional golfing career and had five Top 20 finishes on the LPGA before winning the Drive On Championship on several weeks ago.
Golf has always been in McDonald's blood. At a young age, McDonald spent her days going to the golf course with her dad.
"My family was into the game, and I enjoyed anything competitive," McDonald said. "Golf was just another sport I picked up when I was younger until I got old enough to see I was pretty good and worked at it."
Logan Chaney Abernathy, a former MSU Women's Golf Team member who played with McDonald at MSU, said she noticed her teammate was a unique competitor from the start.
"What stood out about Ally is how much grit she had," Abernathy said. "Sometimes you hit a shot so badly that you think, 'Well, this hole is over.' But she never had that mentality. She would hit a couple bad shots, and instead of letting it get to her, she would chip the ball in for par or hole it out from the fairway for birdie. She never gave up on her ability which is pretty amazing."
Abernathy said McDonald's golfing style was uniquely bold.
"She was a pretty fearless golfer," Abernathy added. "She used to say that trees are 90% air and would go right through them when the rest of us on the team would play it safe and punch back out into the fairway."
Another former teammate of McDonald's at MSU, Blaise Carabello, also pointed out McDonald's competitive spirit.
"Ally was a supportive, encouraging teammate," Carabello said. "She is a competitor. Whether it's tossing a frisbee or throwing a football, she wants to win."
McDonald acknowledged a lot of different individuals have helped and mentored her along her journey to becoming a professional golfer, along with her father. She looks to give back in the same way by volunteering as an assistant coach at MSU whenever she gets the chance.
McDonald finished the championship at -16 to defeat Danielle Kang by a single stroke. She credits her first win to her solid putting performance throughout the weekend.
"I've felt I'm a pretty consistent ball striker and drive the ball well, so for me, I think it was just putts falling," the former Bulldog said about her performance. "That's what I've tried to get trending in the right direction because I know it's the difference in a good week and a great week."
With only four more events left in 2020, McDonald looks to keep climbing in the Race to the CME Globe by sticking with the same process that helped her achieve her first win. She believes getting her first will take some of the pressure off her shoulders and produce even more success.