The defending champion penalizes four strokes on the 1st hole of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur

Anna Davis holds her finish after hitting a drive

Anna Davis’ Augusta National Women’s Amateur The title defense got off to the worst possible start when the 17-year-old was penalized four strokes after a rule error on her opening hole.

Davis eventually started with a nine on the par 1st hole at Champions Retreat, host of the tournament’s first two rounds, when she twice mistakenly marked and cleared her ball in the rough after thinking it was a preferred lie throughout .

The left-hander discovered she might have come in on the 4th hole for a four-stroke penalty, on which she double-bogeyed and then dropped a shot on the 5th to drop to eight over par (with her four -shot penalty).

Despite the nightmare start, Davis rallied on her final 13 holes with four birdies and nine pars to post a four-over-76. That left them just outside the top 40 with the top 30 and a tie after 36 holes making it to Saturday’s finals Augusta National.

“So first shot, shot a bit to the right, it’s in the rough. I thought we were playing favorite lies all the time, so I’ll mark it, clean it and put it away,” Davis explained after the round.

“Hit my second shot into the rough, do the same. And then I bogey on that hole and then I get to the 4th hole and she tells me it’s just preferred lies in the fairway. So that’s basically all.

“I was told on the 4th hole there was a chance I could get a four shot penalty and then you know it went on from there. I didn’t know I was going to get a penalty until I was 18.

“Hole 4 I struggled a bit because I didn’t know if I was going to be penalized or not. I didn’t have a very good hole in four. I was just going back and forth mentally but you know the only thing you can do from there is just have a positive attitude and play the rest of your 14 holes and I did. I just tried to play the next 14 holes as well as possible.

Anna Davis hits her tee shot on the 12th during the 2022 Augusta National Women's Amateur Finals

Anna Davis hits her tee shot on the 12th during the 2022 Augusta National Women’s Amateur Finals

“They just wanted to know why I didn’t know it was just in the fairway. Yes, they just wanted to see my perspective of what happened and they just told me that it’s obviously up to me, that it’s my responsibility to know. And then they gave me four shots.

“I felt pretty good with my game for the next 14 holes after that. I made good shots. Just trying to forget the 1st hole happened round tomorrow. I’m playing well, so I’m confident that I can do well tomorrow.”

Augusta National Women’s Amateur Tournament Headquarters:

“During play of her first hole, Anna Davis lifted her ball and in two separate events failed to return it to its original place,” said James B. Hyler Jr., competition committee chairman.

“Under rule 9.4, Ms. Davis was penalized two strokes for playing from a wrong spot. Your score on hole 1 will increase from 5 to 9.”

Davis holds the trophy

Davis holds the trophy

The California native has verbally committed to Auburn University in Alabama and will be going there in 2023 after an already successful year. In January, she won the Girls Junior Orange Bowl in Florida before triumphing at the prestigious Girls Junior Invitational in South Carolina’s Sage Valley earlier this month.

At the age of 16, Davis hit a 69 at Augusta National last year to beat Ingrid Lindblad and Latanna Stone in a single shot.

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