16-Year-Old Anna Davis Wins The Augusta National Women's Amateur
Notes from Augusta National also include initial course impressions, Dude Perfect's trip around Amen Corner and some Tweets.
With only one practice round under her distinctive bucket cap and a family friend on the bag, Anna Davis would not be confused with an NIL-sporting college star. Nor was she considered a favorite to win the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
But the just-turned-16-year-old from Spring Valley, California has aspirations of becoming “the best player in the world” and looked the part Saturday, posting a bogey-free back-nine 34 to win the third playing of the annual 54-hole event. Davis’ one-stroke victory over a pair of LSU stars—Ingrid Lindblad and Latanna Stone—was aided by final hole bogeys from each. But Davis’ confidence and a nifty up-and-down from behind the 17th green carried her to victory on a course she called “pretty straightforward.”
Said with all due respect, in case the Lords were not listening.
Oh, to be young and only have one Masters memory of watching Tiger Woods putt out on the 18th. Way back in 2019.
She admitted to also not knowing about the first playing of the ANWA and only becoming aware of the event when a few friends played the 2021 edition. She qualified for this week by winning last summer’s Girl’s PGA Junior Championship at Valhalla.
Born on March 17th, 2006, she will soon become better acquainted with all things Augusta National now that she’s won and seems likely to play at least two more ANWA’s. She also shares a birthday with club co-founder Bobby Jones. And channels his inner fire to win.
“I try to keep my emotions to myself on the golf course,” she said after receiving the trophy in Butler Cabin. “I think showing emotions on the golf course, showing anger, sadness, it makes the other player have an advantage when they see that, so I try to keep it to myself.”
A few notes from Saturday’s ANWA:
The lefthand bias got another boost when Davis won, joining Masters winners Mike Weir (2003), Phil Mickelson (2004, 2006, 2010) and Bubba Watson (2012, 2014). Davis confirmed several holes set up well for a lefty:
“On some of the drives it sets up like pretty well. On 18 it’s a perfect setup. You aim a little right of the bunkers and hit a draw, and it's perfect.
Yeah, there's quite a few holds holes where -- like hole 12, a draw is perfect. It feeds right into the hole, so...”
Caddie Randy Kirk is a family friend who has worked for her brother and served as her caddie.
Bill Barrett is her coach and Davis says she’s been working with him since she started started about eleven years ago.
Davis on her birdie at the famous par-3 12th: “It was 145 yards. It was a nice little draw 8-iron. It landed inches from the hole and went about four feet away.”
The bucket cap look started last summer when her dad made her wear one because she was getting sunburned and has turned into a ritual at least once every time she plays a tournament. The entire family—including her junior golfer twin brother—could be seen sporting Masters bucket caps while watching the final round.
The biggest hurdle in getting comfortable with the venues this week for Davis? “The last three days just kind of getting used to not being able to use a rangefinder.”
On her maturity: “I've always hung out with older girls. I've played golf with older girls pretty high-level. Especially this event, you're playing with a bunch of college girls, and I haven't met half the girls in this field, so I think, I don't know, a lot of the girls my age are very mature, and golf helps you mature when you are traveling so much and playing all these tournaments.”
With her win Davis earned a place in the U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles.
14 of the 30 players took a local caddie, including runner-up Stone whose looper, Rowdy Dunn, moonlights as owner of Columbia Waste Portable Toilets.
One more note on Stone: after taking a two-stroke lead only to go double bogey-bogey to lose by one, she still did a live interview with NBC’s Kathryn Tappen and discussed her “heartbreaking” finish. She also experienced an odd moment on 18 when preparing to hit her chip only to step back when the crowd applauded her playing partner’s arrival at the green.
There were the first blatant displays of Name, Image and Likeness deals buy college golfers participating in the ANWA. One player wore oversized flower-adorned Bose headphones to press sessions at Champions Retreat. Oddly she did not sport the headphones for cameras at Augusta National.
The tournament produced this nice video encapsulating the week’s festivities: