Anna Davis’ LPGA debut appeared all but over. The 16-year-old winner of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, who had received a sponsor invitation to compete in this week’s Palos Verdes Championship, had just bogeyed back-to-back holes, Nos. 13 and 14. And at 4 over for her tournament, she had fallen two shots below the projected cut line.
But then came the heroics.
The fearless, bucket hat-wearing teenager (though she went hatless on Friday) orchestrated a clutch rally, eagling the par-5 16th hole and following with a birdie-par finish to make the cut by two shots, at 1 over, and punch her ticket to the weekend at Palos Verdes Golf Club outside of Los Angeles.
“I knew that I obviously had to make something happen to make the cut,” Davis said. “I knew that I had to be kind of aggressive going into the last few holes.”
Before she even struck her tee ball at No. 16, Davis said she already knew she was going for it in two at the 499-yard hole. She hit her second shot to 40 feet and drained the putt to bring herself back above the cut line.
She then stuffed one at the par-3 17th hole and sank another putt.
“I knew I had to go par-par after the eagle,” Davis said, “so to have a birdie there, I don't know, like a cushion, that was nice to not feel as much pressure.”
Though Davis is 10 shots off Hannah Green’s lead, she isn’t concerned about contending. She already accomplished what she’d set out to do this week.
“Very cool,” Davis said. “It was my goal to make the cut so I'm glad that I could do that. Yeah, it'll be cool to play this weekend.”