The Augusta National Women’s Amateur concluded in dramatic fashion as 16-year—old Anna Davis shot 70-76-69 to become the youngest champion in the event’s history.
Davis a sophomore in high school, overcame a two-stroke deficit with her final round of three-under-par 69. Over 54 holes, Davis finished with a one-under 215 total, outlasting the field by one stroke. Aussie Kirsten Rudgeley signing for an even par final round to finish at three-over in a tie for eighth.
At No.100 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), Davis had four birdies in her final round, including three over a five hole stretch starting at the par-4 9th hole.
“I’m a little shocked,” Davis said. “I don’t think it’s processed yet that I’ve won here. It’s pretty surreal, to be honest. I’m speechless.”
She worked her way around Augusta National Golf Club deliberately while tying the second lowest score of the day. On the biggest stage she has played on, Davis held a share of the lead in the opening round at Champions Retreat.
The stakes continued to get bigger as she took on the challenge of Augusta National Golf Club, She had birdied on No.2 and No.9 and walked in a four footer on 12 after landing her 8-iron inches from the hole.
Davis added another at the famous par-5 13th to capture a share of the lead.
“I think playing in a tournament like this and playing junior golf from such a young age my main goals has always been to be the best in the world,” Davis said.
Co-leaders after 36-holes Beatrice Wallin and Latanna Stone faltered during their final rounds, opening the door for Davis to lock up the come from behind victory. Stone started her day tied at the top on even par and led by two strokes with two to play after birdie at the par-3 16th, but a double bogey at 17 and a bogey at the 18th dropped her behind Davis.
“It’s just heartbreaking,” said Stone, who was making her Augusta National Women’s Amateur debut. “I knew where I stood on No.17 and I was just thinking par out. I was trying to be aggressive and just lost it, I thought I could get it back on No.18, but I had a lot going on in my head with where I was at.”
Louisiana State University classmates Stone and Ingrid Lindblad finished tied for second at even-par 216.
“I’m a little shocked. I don’t think it’s processed yet that I’ve won here. It’s pretty surreal, to be honest. I’m speechless.” - Anna Davis.
Lindblad, No.2 in the WAGR, was able to bounce back after five bogeys in the second round with a low final round score of four-under-par 68. Her round included three birdies and two eagles. She saw two stretches where she followed birdies on the 7th and 14th with eagles on 8 and 15.
Amari Avery, Benedetto Moresco and Beatrice Wallin finished tied for fourth place.
Making her debut in the event after spending the summer playing professional and amateur events at home in Australia, Rudgeley was the lone Aussie to make the cut and was unable to get a charge going around The Masters host venue on Saturday.
Making the turn in one-over, the West Australian managed a memorable birdie at the par-5 13th that was the only non-par score she recorded on her back nine. The 21-year-old finished at three-over for the week and with Australia’s best result and only top-10 at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
Provided she remain an amateur, Davis will receive an invitation to the next five Augusta National Women’s Amateurs, the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open, the 2022 Women’s Open and any USGA, R&A and PGA of America amateur championships for which she is eligible for one year.