16-year-old Anna Davis ‘just out there having fun’ wins Augusta National Women’s Amateur in her first appearance

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Anna Davis didn’t know many players when the 16-year-old arrived for her first Augusta National Women’s Amateur. They all know who she is now.

Davis entered the mix with two birdies around Amen Corner, closed with a 3-under 69 and clinched the title on Saturday when Latanna Stone collapsed on the final two holes at Augusta National.

Stone, a junior at LSU, seemed to have the tournament in hand as she hit the par-3 16 crest and watched her golf ball drop 2 feet for her sixth birdie of the round, giving her a two-stroke lead. . with two holes to play.

From the 17th fairway, Stone missed, pitched too hard over the bunker about 35 feet and three putts for a double bogey. Then she pushed her drive into the pine straw on the 18th, did well to approach the front of the green and then chipped too hard.

Stone’s par 15-foot putt to force the playoffs never stood a chance. She shot 72.

That left Davis the only under-30 player who made the cut. She finished at 1-under 215 and was mobbed by a few other teenage friends in the elite field.

Davis, a left-hander from East San Diego, never seemed fazed by the stage she was on or the stakes, calmly walking around with ponytails spilling out of her bucket hat.

“I don’t think I’ve ever played in front of that many people,” Davis said. “I wasn’t as nervous. I knew I was an underdog on the pitch. I didn’t have as much pressure to do extremely well. I was just there having fun.”

After a birdie on the par-5 12th, Davis lay down on the par-5 13th and hit a corner of the slope from close range for a birdie. Even when she went long on the 17th, the teenager had a perfect touch on a pitch to tap to save par on the 17th.

It was the second year in a row that the Augusta National Women’s Amateur contenders lost a big number lead.

Ingrid Lindblad had the fastest lap with a 4-under 68 and joined LSU teammate Stone in a tie for second. She also had regrets. Lindblad had a birdie-eagle streak down the front and back nine. But she hit a fairway bunker on the 18th, couldn’t reach the green and missed a par putt to finish one shot behind.

Florida State’s Beatrice Wallin, who started the final round tied with tied Stone, closed with a 73 and tied for fourth with Amari Avery (72) and Benedetta Moresco (71).

Davis is a sophomore in high school who still doesn’t have a driver’s license and can’t even talk to college recruiters until June. She started making a name for herself last summer when she won the Heather Farr Classic on the AJGA Tour and the PGA Women’s Junior Championship.

She was part of the Junior Solheim Cup and Junior Ryder Cup teams.

Masters president Fred Ridley presented her with the trophy — no green jacket for the victory — and introduced her as one of the Augusta National winners.

Davis, who shares a March 17 birthday with club co-founder Bobby Jones, has a twin brother, Billy, who watched his sister stay together.