Anna Davis knew as she stepped onto the 16th tee at Palos Verdes that a change of strategy was in order. The 2022 Augusta National Women’s Amateur champion was 4 over for the tournament and two shots outside the cut line in her first LPGA start at the inaugural Palos Verdes Championship presented by Bank of America.
“I knew that I obviously had to make something happen to make the cut,” said Davis, who is playing on a sponsor exemption. “I knew that I had to be kind of aggressive going into the last few holes.”
Davis, 16, reached the par-5 16th in two and made a 40-foot putt for eagle to vault up the leaderboard.
“Like I knew it had to go in and I made it,” said Davis, “so that was cool.”
She then set out to play more conservatively on the last two holes but wound up with a bonus birdie on the 17th hole to give herself a cushion. Davis’ eagle-birdie-par finish over the last three holes put her in a share of 52nd for the tournament at 1 over. She shot 71-72 in her first two rounds on the LPGA.
Anna Davis hits a shot during the first round of the Palos Verdes Championship presented by Bank of America. (courtesy of LPGA)
Hannah Green holds a three-shot lead over the field at 9 under with No. 1 Jin Young Ko, Lydia Ko, Minjee Lee and Megan Khang in a four-way tie for second.
Davis’ chill vibe and signature bucket hat helped make her a popular champion at Augusta. The high school sophomore is currently ranked 47th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. Aside from last week’s Monday qualifier on the LPGA, this is her first competitive start since winning the ANWA.
Davis tees off at 9:20 a.m. local time alongside Xiyu Lin.
“It was my goal to make the cut so I’m glad that I could do that,” she said. “Yeah, it’ll be cool to play this weekend.”