Keeping Score

On 28th birthday, Ally McDonald becomes an LPGA winner

American denies compatriot Danielle Kang her 3rd victory of the season, wrapping up the LPGA Drive On title for a birthday present

28: Age, in years, of American Ally McDonald, who posted her first LPGA victory on her birthday Sunday when she won the LPGA Drive On Championship in Greensboro, Ga. McDonald shot 3-under 69 for a 16-under 272 total and one-stroke victory over playing competitor Danielle Kang at Reynolds Lake Oconee’s Great Waters Course. Kang, an American who won in back-to-back weeks in August after the season restart, nearly holed a wedge for a potential tie on the final hole, settling for a tap-in birdie and 68 at 15-under 273. McDonald, in her fourth season on the LPGA, conceded through tears on the 18th hole: “I’ve never doubted my ability. It’s really hard to win out here.” She saw her four-stroke lead whittled to one after she bogeyed the par-4 13th and Kang, McDonald’s playing competitor, made consecutive birdies on Nos. 13 and 14. “It shook me up pretty bad,” McDonald said of her suddenly narrow lead. “I had to get under control. I just told myself to calm down.” Kang, who turned 27 just five days earlier, dropped a shot at the par-4 15th before McDonald made birdie at the 16th to go back up by three and cruise home  (scores).

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