Butler’s Ally Ross has local knowledge at Golfweek Midwest Collegiate


In West Lafayette, Indiana, you’re likely to bump into reigning Women’s City Amateur champion Ally Ross in the local pharmacy. She’ll be behind the counter, learning the trade while she completes her Doctor of Pharmacy at Butler University, roughly 70 miles down Interstate 65 in Indianapolis.

Ross loves coming back to her hometown to play that city event. Ross, who is about to start her fourth year at Butler, likes that it’s a field full of local players.

“Even some of my teachers growing up play in it,” she said.

Ross won the for the third consecutive time earlier this month after firing back-to-back rounds of 70 at West Lafeyette Country Club and the Ackerman-Allen course at Purdue’s Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex.

Scores: Golfweek Midwest Collegiate

In Ross’ golf life, Birck Boilermaker has been the real measuring stick. She’s teeing it up at the Kampen Course this week in the Golfweek Midwest Collegiate – one of the first tournaments with “college” in the title since college athletics abruptly ended in mid-March amid a pandemic.

Ross’ opening 76 included 15 pars and left her T-6. She had a double-bogey at No. 12, after trouble in a bunker, and bogeys on Nos. 17 and 18, two lengthy closing holes.

“I had a lot of opportunities for birdies but just couldn’t get anything to fall in today,” she said.

There has always been ample yardage to play from at the Pete Dye-designed Kampen and Ackerman-Allen courses at Purdue, and always a challenge to further her game. Ally’s father Dan, who has been the head golf professional at Birck Boilermaker since 2004, thinks the length was one of the biggest factors in preparing Ally for college golf.

This past season, Ally competed in all eight events Butler played and led the team with a 77.05 scoring average over 19 competitive rounds.

“The times she goes out and practices and plays on Kampen, she plays it longer,” Dan said. “I think that alone has helped her.”

The Rosses are truly embedded in this community, especially when it comes to golf. Ally’s maternal grandfather, Jerry Jackson, was a member of Purdue’s 1961 national championship team. Her great uncle, Dick von Tacky, on her dad’s side played the 1981 Masters after reaching the U.S. Amateur semifinals the previous year. Dan played college golf at nearby Taylor University.

“You want me to keep going?” Dan joked in laying out the family athletic tree.

Needless to say, it’s deep.

Ally has lost count of the number of times she has competed in tournaments on either of the Purdue courses. She’s been entering junior tournaments here and there since she was 8 years old, but it’s been awhile since she played a proper tournament on Kampen. This week will offer another check-point.

“Of all the tournaments that were on the list of things to play in this summer,” Dan said, “I know it was especially important to her because she’s finally playing golf at a level where she feels like she can compete at the higher level and wanted to see what would happen playing on the Kampen course.”

That, and competition of any kind, anywhere is particularly hard to come by right now.

Earlier this month, Ally got word – along with her whole Butler team – that their fall season had been canceled. Coach Christie Cates sent an early text one morning, asking the team to get on a last-minute Zoom call later in the day.

It was somber news, even though golf’s championship season is in the spring.

“We have a fun fall schedule,” Ally said, lamenting the fact that the team would miss out on its home event plus the Dayton Fall Invitational, a tournament Butler won last year.

“I honestly think we’re going to have a great team next year. We didn’t lose any of our top 5,” Ally said. “I’m really hoping that we have a spring season.”

Ally remembers when she first heard her dad talk about the possibility of hosting this week’s tournament.

“I was like, ‘Oh, Dad, you need to say yes!’” she said.

At a university golf facility like Birck Boilermaker, college golf carries a lot of weight. The Kampen course hosted the NCAA Women’s Championship in 2003 and the NCAA Championship in 2008. Dan Ross liked the idea of being able to host an event, finally, that allowed players to compete outside their state or city against other college players.

“For a lot of them, like my daughter included,” Dan said, “it’s nice to be able to play an event like this knowing this fall she doesn’t have any tournaments.”



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