PINEHURST, N.C. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) – Competing on one of the biggest stages for women’s amateur golf, Ally McDonald claimed the 111th North & South Women’s Amateur title with a 3&2 victory against Cindy Feng at the famed Pinehurst No. 2 Saturday.
McDonald wasted no time winning the first two holes. After trading a few holes with Feng late on the front nine, she made the turn at 3-up and cruised until No. 14 when Feng cut the lead back to 2-up. The duo would halve No. 15 before McDonald won No. 16 to end the match.
“This means a lot,” McDonald said. “It means so much to win such a prestigious tournament and to add my name to the list of the greats who have won here. And to be able to pull off shots I needed to pull off to win and beat such incredible players, that’s such a satisfying feeling. This is definitely one of the top tournaments I’ve ever won and it’s amazing to have won at Pinehurst.
The North & South Women’s Amateur began in 1903 and was first played on Pinehurst No. 1 and Pinehurst No. 3. The annual event pits the world’s top amateurs against each other beginning with three rounds of stroke play followed by four rounds of match play.
Earlier in the day, the Fulton, Miss., native defeated Michelle Piyapattra of Columbia University 2&1 to advance to the final match. McDonald claimed three of the first four holes and held off a late comeback attempt by Piyapattra.
McDonald matched up against defending NCAA National Champion Annie Park of USC in the quarterfinal round. Park jumped out to an early 1-up lead on No. 2, but McDonald squared it up on No. 3. Park then claimed holes No. 6 and 8 and seemed to be settling in, but McDonald would claim the par-5 10th and par-4 13th to bring the match back to all-square. After a Park bogey on No. 16, McDonald rolled in her par putt to take the lead en route to her 1-up victory.
McDonald defeated Park’s teammate at USC, Cyna Rodruguez, 2&1 in the round of 16. Rodriguez took control of the match winning three of the first six holes, but McDonald rebounded to win five of the last seven.
The MSU junior advanced to match play after a 3-under-par 213 (70-70-73) in stroke play to tie for fourth.
"This is a huge accomplishment,” MSU coach Ginger Brown-Lemm said. “The North & South Am is one of the most prestigious tournaments for amateur golfers and for her to win it while beating the top amateurs in the world is very impressive. She did a tremendous job. She is a first-class player, person and student-athlete that we are extremely blessed to have representing Mississippi State."
McDonald has one more event on her summer schedule as she qualified for the U.S. Women’s Amateur Open hosted at the Country Club of Charleston on Aug. 5-11.
The Lady Bulldogs begin their quest for a return trip to the NCAA Championships with the Cougar Classic at Yeamans Hall Club in Charleston, S.C., on Sept. 8-10.