October 24, 2020
Greensboro, Georgia, USA
Reynolds Lake Oconee
Q. Ally, one more round here at Lake Oconee. How do you feel now that you've only got one round?
ALLY MCDONALD: It feels really good. I played some really solid golf after I kind of settled in. Made a few bad swings towards the end of the round, but I'm not going to discredit how I really did settle in and played solid golf for most of my holes.
So I'm excited with the position I'm in. Mentally I think I handled myself really well. Ready to take on tomorrow.
Q. Specifically about the mental game, on hole 1 you bogeyed. You were warming up, and then you started birdieing after hole 5. When did the momentum really start for you today?
ALLY MCDONALD: Well, I never really got panicked after the 1st hole when I made bogey. If anything, might have calmed me just a little bit kind of just to get that out of the way.
Yeah, probably after the maybe 3rd or 4th hole I was beginning to have some good looks. Then I rolled in that putt on 5 and I think that really kind of just said, Okay, everything is fine. We're playing a round of golf. It's the third round of a golf tournament. Just kind of take everything in stride.
That was the big thing that I wanted to do, was acknowledge that I'm in a position that I'm unfamiliar with and realize that I'm probably going to feel uncomfortable at times being in that environment.
But I settled in and I got very comfortable out there. I'm happy with what I did.
Q. Every time we've spoken to you this week you're so composed and wise with knowledge. What gives you that composure, do you think?
ALLY MCDONALD: Well, several things. I've been around a lot of people in my life that have just fed me knowledge, whether it's golf or life or whatever it is. You know, I've always believed that golf is not who I am it's just what I do. From junior golf with my parents and grandparents to college golf with my coaches, swing coach, short game coach, you know, now my husband can kind of get in my ear and chill me out a little bit.
So it's just been good having so many people feeding into me and where I am now.
Q. Speaking about people, your parents are here. They've been watching you every hole this week. How does it feel to have them on your side every step of the way?
ALLY MCDONALD: It feels good. I know from their position they said it's a nerve wracking experience. I know my grandparents are sitting at home pressing the refresh button over and over like they always do.
Just the amount of support that I have is incredible. And my parents, knowing that they're here walking with me, is a very comforting feeling, too.
Q. If we think about it, a round is 18 holes tomorrow. What's your mindset going into tomorrow? What's your strategy?
ALLY MCDONALD: Same as today. I've got to go out and be ready to execute my game plan, which is being in the present, being over the shot, worried about that shot only.
Not running ahead of myself, but acknowledging that I am sitting on the lead. People are going to be coming for the lead and I'm perfectly -- I know that that's a fact. So I think it's not shying away from it. It's kind of embracing where I am and try to not be complacent and just go out and execute my game plan.
Q. Are you to the point now where you are comfortable being uncomfortable in these positions?
ALLY MCDONALD: I will say yes and no. I definitely felt more comfortable as the day went on, especially when I started to make birdies and see those putts go in that ave been going in this week.
I'm definitely in a more comfortable position knowing that what I have and me is enough. I don't have to push and be more than I am. It's just kind of going and trusting what I know I can do. Trying to tee it up with the best players in the world and try to play my best. That's it.
Q. Can you walk us through those three birdies in a row, what did you hit in and how far they were?
ALLY MCDONALD: Hole 8, par-3, I think we had around 165 pin. I hit a great 7-iron to about three or four feet.
Hole 9 I had about 135 to the hole roughly.
Q. You meant to leave that below the hole, didn't you?
ALLY MCDONALD: Absolutely not. (Laughter.) Missed it a little right of the pin. But that's exactly why I have the strategy that I do, because I'm not going to hit it exactly where I want to every single time.
I was looking a little left and a little past the pin and I hit it a little short and a little right, and just so happened it was four feet right of the hole; was able to roll that in.
On hole 10 I left my approach out to the right and had about I think it was 35 feet roughly from just off the green. It was one of those putts where you just say, I'm going to hit this putt with great speed and try to get it around the hole. Just happened to go in.
Q. You had a couple of those where they were long putts. If they hadn't gone in you would have still hit good putts, but they did go in.
ALLY MCDONALD: Yeah.
Q. What does that do you for your mindset and how do you keep your composure?
ALLY MCDONALD: Well, it gives you more confidence. Again, I was talking about my ball striking yesterday, just how I don't feel like I have to necessarily hit it to five feet to make birdie.
And then after I made that putt on 10 I continued to I have good myself good looks. I lipped a few out. That was really -- the ball doesn't always go in the hole even if you hit good putts, so it's encouraging to hit good putts and see them -- if they're lipping out or right around the hole, then that's encouraging to know, putts are going to fall.
Q. Last question from me. I had a conversation with Jim Gallagher yesterday and he said men have to be happy to play well; women have to be -- no, men have to play well to be happy; women have to be happy to play well. Do you think that's true and are you happy?
ALLY MCDONALD: Absolutely I'm happy. I've got so many things that I'm blessed and thankful for. I mean, I think are just so blessed to be playing on this tour in the middle of a pandemic. Mike Whan and what our staff has done to get us on golf course like this, and the community welcoming us in the midst of a pandemic.
I mean, we are just as a tour just so fortunate. And, yeah, I'm just really thankful and hope that everyone out here knows how thankful we are to be here.
Going to go tee it up tomorrow and try to appreciate one last walk.
Q. I lied. One more. How cool are the boats?
ALLY MCDONALD: Oh, so cool. So cool.
OPHELIA BUNUEL: Hi, Ally.
ALLY MCDONALD: Hey, Ophelia.
OPHELIA BUNUEL: One the five Es of Girls Golf is energize. You need a lot of energy to play this golf course. What would you do tomorrow to stay energized and have energy during your round?
ALLY MCDONALD: Well, it starts right now when I finish. I need to continue to hydrate and make sure my body is ready when I tee off tomorrow. To continue with my energy into tomorrow, I'm going to keep hydrating while I'm playing and keep feeding myself good food so my energy stays up.
And then I'm going to not mentally wear myself out. So if you are in your head you can even pull more energy from your body. I am going to try to relax my mind, relax my body, and go have a good night and be ready for tomorrow.
OPHELIA BUNUEL: Thank you.
ALLY MCDONALD: Yeah, thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports