McDonald, U.S. on brink of Curtis Cup victory

McDONALD

McDONALD

By Jason L. Young

Special to the Journal

ST. LOUIS – Fulton’s Ally McDonald had to sit around longer than she wanted. Now, she has an even longer wait.

The morning session of the Curtis Cup on Saturday was delayed just over two hours by heavy rains and lightning. Her start to the second session got pushed by 80 minutes by more bad weather.

When the daylight had all but left, McDonald – a Mississippi State junior – and her partner Mariah Stackhouse had just finished No. 15 at the St. Louis Country Club.

They held a 1-up lead over their Britain and Ireland counterparts of Georgia Hall and the University of Alabama’s Stephanie Meadow but must wait until today to determine a winner.

They are the only group left on the course after the second day of the three-day event with the U.S. team holding a commanding 9-2 lead, needing 101⁄2 to recapture the Cup. Britain and Ireland ended the Americans’ 16-year reign in 2012 in Scotland.

Ready to finish

“We let a few strokes slip out there, but overall I’m pretty pleased,” McDonald said. “We’re just going to come out tomorrow morning and take on 16 and play our best and see where it puts us.”

The foursome tees off at 11 a.m. to conclude the match.

McDonald and Stackhouse led as much as 3 up after scoring a birdie on the par-4 11th. They dropped the next hole and lost a stroke on No. 15 before play was called for the night.

McDonald sat out the morning four-ball session but walked the course to cheer on her teammates. She was moments from teeing off in the afternoon when the second delay came.

After playing both session on Friday, winning one and halving the second, she has no doubt what she prefers to do.

“I would definitely think it’s more of a mental strain of sitting all day and waiting and (not) teeing off until 5 o’clock,” she said. It’s mentally better when you play 36 holes. It’s a lot more physical.

“But you get your mind ready for play and then you keep waiting and waiting. That’s probably the difference.”