Ally Ewing claimed her third career LPGA victory on Sunday in dramatic fashion at the Kroger Queen City Championship in Cincinnati, making five birdies in a row on the back nine to defeat her closest competitor, Xiyu Lin, by one shot.
Though her final-round birdies featured a series of clutch putts (including two eight-footers and a 10-footer), Ewing’s positive momentum on the greens had been building since the beginning of the tournament.
After firing a second round of eight-under 64 to climb into contention at the tournament’s halfway point, Ewing was asked what was working well for her. She admitted that prior to the start of the tournament, the source of many of her problems was on the green.
“I’ve been hitting it great. Driving it great. It’s just kind of been — mentally I’ve kind of struggled with the putter,” she said. “I’ve seen some putts miss and then I’ve gotten down on myself.
“I’ve worked hard with my coach and we kind of pinpointed a really big key for me. I think just it’s kind of freed me up. But it’s also helped me to consistently hit some good putts. For me, if I’m hitting good putts I’m happy, because you can hit a good putt and the ball doesn’t go in, but you can hit some good putts and the ball goes in. I’m just trying to stick with the game plan and continue to execute.”
So what was the key? Ewing said it was all about tempo.
“My tempo had gotten off. My stroke had gotten really long,” she said. “So for me, I’ve just kind of tried to get it really balanced. That’s kind of the key.”
In addition to using a metronome to hone in on her tempo, Ewing said she also liked a training aid called Blast Golf, which features a sensor that clips on to the butt of the club to measure things like backstroke and forward stroke time, tempo, stroke length and face angle at impact.
“I’ve used a metronome for years actually. But Blast Golf that you kind of put on the butt of the putter has just kind of helped me kind of see some numbers and some tempo and stuff like that,” Ewing said.
Looking for a tempo fix yourself? Using a metronome can be helpful for practice both on and off the green, and you can even download a metronome app on your phone. So next time you’re at the range, give it a try! What worked for Ewing could work for you too.