Ally Ewing carded seven birdies en route to a 6-under 66 to take a five-shot lead after 36 holes at the AIG Women’s Open.
An American holding a big lead at an Open Championship is a storyline we’ve seen recently.
Brian Harman also led by five after two rounds at Royal Liverpool three weeks ago. He never faltered and went on to win his first major. Ewing, who says she doesn’t know Harman personally, said: “I obviously know his story, winning The Open everything and. But yeah, incredible tournament he played.”
The similarities don’t stop there.
“He’s a Bulldog,” she said, before clarifying. “He’s a Georgia Bulldog. I’m a Bulldog, I’m a Mississippi State Bulldog. I guess we have that in common. But yeah, it’s pretty cool, southern guy, I’m southern, just a little Mississippi girl. It is inspiring what he did.
“I think a lot of people, I wouldn’t say they were rooting against him but a lot of people were rooting for other people. I can kind of attest to that in some sense but yeah, certainly happy with where I am through 36 holes.”
After a birdie on the third hole, Ewing strung together four straight birdies on Nos. 6 through 9 to make the turn in 30.
“I didn’t really even know until I signed my scorecard that I had four birdies in a row,” she said, cognizant of the zone she was in during her round. “I would probably say that stretch from like 6 to 11 is kind of a little bit of a blur but yeah, I was very in the present on all of those shots.”
Her lone blemish came with a bogey on the par-4 closing hole.
Despite that, she’s at 10 under, the only golfer in double digits under par. Harman was also at 10 under through two rounds.
There’s one other similarity between Harman and Ewing.
“I actually do some hunting. I know that’s probably not going to be interpreted well by the media but I do, yes.
“My husband and I, we do mostly deer hunting, so venison. That’s most
of what we do.”
With a commanding lead, Ewing is now the hunted and knows there’s still plenty of golf left to be played.
“Nothing that I’ve done through 36 holes can do anything for me for the next 36, so I’m just going to be mentally prepared for each individual day that presents itself. Each shot is going to be different.”
Charley Hull, Minami Katsu and Andrea Lee are tied for second at 5 under. There are four golfers two back at 4 under, including Chevron Championship winner Lilia Vu.
World No. 1 Nelly Korda is tied for 28th at 1 under after scores of 73 and 70.
Defending champion Ashleigh Buhai is 3 over and is among those who missed the cut.