Ally Ewing had intentions of being patient, and it paid off for the American as she leads after 18 holes
Ally Ewing leads the AIG Women’s Open at the end of the opening day after only aiming for a top 30 place on the leaderboard.
The American carded a first round 68 at Walton Heath on Thursday afternoon to sit at four-under, one shot clear of the chasing pack.
Leading after the opening day was not the goal, as she had much lower ambitions for her first 18 holes.
“I definitely had intentions to be patient. I also wanted to go out and take care of my business,” Ewing said.
“I set myself a little bit of a target. Although this is probably conservative, I feel like it gives myself a chance – finishing the first round in the top 30 or better. That is what I had in mind, going into a major.
“That doesn’t mean a top 30 is where I am trying to shoot for, but at the least it is where I wanted to be. Definitely happy to be in the lead at this time.”
Ewing featured for Team USA in each of the last two Solheim Cups. She is currently 10th on the American Solheim Cup standings.
With the top seven in those standings booking their spots in Andalucia, Ewing knows a good week can put her into the conversation.
“It is huge! It is a tournament that once you play in, you never want to miss another one,” she explained.
“I think that goes for any player that has ever played in one. It is in the back of my mind but nothing I do lingering in my thoughts, whether I do this or whether I do that, can help propel into the Solheim Cup.
“It is a shot-by-shot, day-by-day basis and hopefully if I take care of business, the task and the shot at hand, then I think I will have a pretty good chance to make the team.”
How did Ewing take the lead at Walton Heath?
The American went out in 34, with birdies at 10 and 12 pushing her into a tie for the lead at three-under-par.
After back-to-back bogeys midway through the back nine, Ewing then birdied 15 before an incredible approach saw her eagle the par-5 16th, as she moved into the lead.
“It was funny. I missed my drive a little bit to the right and it got hung up in the rough,” she added.
“It was a situation where the ball was sitting down a little bit, but I happened to see both of my playing competitors hit shots and noticed how firm it was in front of the green.
“I was able to learn a bit there, and it was kind of a gauge type shot. It just so happened to chase up to five feet.
“It was one of those where you are just trying to give yourself an eagle chance, and it just so happened to be a five-footer. I am definitely happy with that eagle.”
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