By Jason L. Young
Special to the Journal
ST. LOUIS – As Ally McDonald looked over her final putt of the Curtis Cup, she showed what might have been her first sign of nerves during the three-day tournament.
The Fulton native took a deep breath, another look, then another deep breath before sinking a seven-foot putt on the 15th hole at the St. Louis Country Club.
That shot on Sunday secured her singles match over Britain and Ireland’s Annabel Dimmock, 4 up.
McDonald helped the U.S. team claim 3 points during the weekend as the Americans recaptured the Cup with a 13-7 victory.
“It’s been amazing,” she said. “It was a blessing to have been chosen, and I just wanted to take advantage of this opportunity and make memories and play the best golf that I could, and I think this weekend, I played pretty well.”
Delayed by nightfall
She and Stanford’s Mariah Stackhouse started Sunday by finishing a foursome match called by darkness on Saturday. They lost their first hole to Georgia Hall and Alabama’s Stephanie Meadow at No. 16. Both teams parred the final two holes as they halved the match.
McDonald also halved her Friday foursome with Alabama’s Emma Talley as a partner. She won during four-ball play to start play with USC’s Annie Park.
Next up for the rising Mississippi State senior is the U.S. Women’s Open, starting June 19 at Pinehurst in North Carolina. She said playing at the Curtis Cup got her ready for the big stage of the Open.
“I definitely think it was preparation,” she said. “I’ve never played in front of such a big crowd out watching me play. So, that was one of my biggest things that I knew I would take away that would be a positive going into the Open.
“It kind of prepared me a little bit for the pressure and having a lot of people out watching me.”
What she knows for certain heading into the Open is the support she’ll get back home. She says it never goes without notice how much backing she gets.
“Fulton, Mississippi, has been cheering me on for a long time now and Starkville, too,” she said. “It’s just amazing the support I get from Mississippi. I know they’re always there and they’re always going to be lifting me up.”