Anna Davis, a 16-year-old from California, is crowned the third Augusta National Women's Amateur Champion
There are not many golfers that would be able to go to Augusta National and not feel intimidated by the challenge they had in front of them. Over the years we have watched many great golfers suffer complete meltdowns as the course and the occasion get to them.
Step forward 30 elite amateurs who for the third time would contest for the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. A prestigious title like no other in the amateur golf world. Playing on a course that not even the professional women get to play.
To get to the first tee at Augusta National, the players had already played 36 holes at Champions Retreat just down the road. Although all 72 players get to play a practice round on the Friday at August National, it is only the 30 who make the cut that get to compete for the title.
After the first two rounds of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, which included a 7.5 hour delay due to wet weather, only six strokes separated the 30 players. The title could belong to anyone.
Early charge from Lindblad
Sweden’s Ingrid Lindblad, who is ranked second in the world, made a great start after a disappointing 77 in her second round. The 21-year-old from Louisiana State University (LSU) would go on to shoot the lowest round of the week with a 68 to finish on even-par and take the runners-up spot, one place better than last year.
American Lattana Stone, also from LSU, was two-under-par after 13 holes and hit a sensational shot into the par-3 16th to get to three-under and take a two-shot lead into the final two holes. Normally it’s Amen Corner that becomes a player undoing but unfortunately for Stone it was the 17th. A double-bogey followed by a bogey on 18 meant that the title would just slip out of her hands.
The Day belonged to Davis
In the end the day and the championship belonged to Anna Davies 16-year-old golfer from California, a high school sophomore from Spring Valley. Wearing a distinctive bucket hat, the American started the day two strokes off the lead.
Davies took August National in her stride, only having one bogey on the third hole. She also had no issues with Amen Corner, with bridies at 12 and 13. Apart from her practice round on Friday, this was the first time she had played at Augusta. In fact, she said she hadn’t really watched the Masters on television. Maybe that helped her to keep her composure?
A final round three-under-par 69 put Davis in the clubhouse at one-under-par. As Stone was unable to maintain her advantage, Davis watched on via the television coverage. When Stone wasn’t able to make par, Davis became champion.
At the time Davis commented:
“I wasn’t expecting it, I was more nervous watching her (Stone) than playing my round out there.
“I’m still a little shocked! I don’t think it’s processed that I won here. It’s pretty surreal, to be honest. I’m pretty speechless. I can’t even fathom what just happened.”
With her victory, Davis joins a short but distinguished list of champions of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. Jennifer Kupcho who won the inaugural event in 2019, now holds a six-shot lead heading into the final day of The Chevron Championship. Last year’s winner Tsubasa Kajitani became the first player from Japan, male or female, to win at Augusta National.
As winner of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Davis receives invitations to the next five ANWAs, the U.S. Women's Open and AIG Women’s Open. On hearing the news about the U.S. Women’s Open she said:
“That’s insane, I did not know that. I was looking forward to a qualifier in that soon, but that’s incredible.”
Bucket hats sales on the increase
When asked about her bucket hat look, which her family were also sporting on Saturday. She explained that she began wearing one at the Girls Junior PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville last year. Her father told her she was getting sunburned on her nose and suggested the wide-brimmed hat. She took his advice and ended up winning by seven strokes, earning her invitation to the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
Ever since she has tried to wear one at least once during a tournament. After this monumental win, we wonder whether it will now be making an appearance during every round!
One final point has to be about the number of patrons that lined the fairways on Saturday at Augusta National. It was fantastic to see they players getting so much support. Runner-up Stone captioned the atmosphere perfectly, especially when it came to the end of her round, she said:
“I’m really overwhelmed. I wasn’t expecting that. That really kind of brought me to tears. I’ve never experienced quite a large crowd like that, and I’m going to cherish it forever.”
Cherishing forever – that’s certainly something that all these players are likely to do. As for bucket hats, we’re sure there’s going to a lot more of them being worn on the course this summer thanks to Anna Davis.
View the final Augusta National Women's Amateur leaderboard here.