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    Anna Davis’ ANWA win exhibits that Augusta Nationwide by no means adjustments

    Anna Davis received the Augusta Nationwide Girls’s Newbie in dramatic trend Saturday.

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    AUGUSTA, Ga. — How did Augusta Nationwide come to search out itself the heartbeat of the golf world? The quick reply, it seems, is due to days like Saturday.

    The Augusta Nationwide Girls’s Newbie has seen solely three iterations within the 4 years since its inception, however three iterations are greater than sufficient to know definitively {that a} girls’s match at Alister Mackenzie’s famed design was a number of many years overdue.

    On Saturday, the tee bins have been nearly the one distinction between the match that resulted in 16-year-old Anna Davis’ victory and the match that may finish in the identical precise place in slightly greater than eight days’ time. The whole lot else at Augusta Nationwide was, nicely, prefer it at all times is.

    As with each last spherical at Augusta Nationwide, there was drama. Drama supplied by a bucket-hatted teenager named Anna Davis. Davis, who’s a highschool sophomore, fearlessly charged by Augusta Nationwide en path to a final-round 69. On the time, it appeared 69 can be too little. On the 54th gap, Davis’ birdie attempt missed, and he or she thought her match possibilities went with it.

    “Something can occur, however I felt like I wanted to make that to have a reasonably good probability at profitable,” Davis mentioned. “I hoped it will drop, for certain.”

    Together with her birdie miss on the 18th, Anna Davis thought her match possibilities disappeared.

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    However the actual drama was solely starting. Minutes after Davis cleared from the 18th inexperienced, Augusta Nationwide’s scoreboard operators confirmed the chief, Latanna Stone, had made double on the normally tame seventeenth. Out of the blue, Davis was tied for the lead. The gang surrounding the 18th inexperienced gasped because the leaderboard flipped.

    “There’s gonna be a playoff!” One patron yelled.

    However there was no playoff. As an alternative, as there’s all too typically at Augusta Nationwide, there was heartbreak. That belonged to Stone, the LSU Junior whose good day exploded within the match’s dying seconds. In two holes, Stone went from main the match by two strokes to lacking a playoff by one.

    “It’s simply heartbreaking,” Stone mentioned afterward. “I used to be attempting to be aggressive and simply form of misplaced it. I used to be coming in at 3-under, and it’s simply kinda heartbreaking to go double after which bogey on the final two holes.”

    Stone walked her method to the clubhouse in shocked silence, simply as Davis was ushered out of it in a lot the identical state.

    “I’m nonetheless slightly shocked,” Davis mentioned. “I actually … I’m speechless. I can’t even fathom what simply occurred.”

    Latanna Stone left Augusta Nationwide heartbroken on Saturday.

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    It’d take some time for the gravity of the second to hit the 16-year-old. Davis, the third-ever winner on the ANWA, admitted she’s by no means watched the Masters (although, she says, that’s more likely to change this week). Her solely “vivid” reminiscence of the course is watching Tiger Woods tap-in his last putt in 2019.

    Every time actuality does set in for Davis, it’s not more likely to shake her. It doesn’t appear very a lot does.

    “I didn’t actually really feel the nerves,” she mentioned. “I used to be extra nervous watching [Stone] than taking part in my spherical on the market.”

    Because it at all times does, Augusta Nationwide discovered a champion. Anna Davis may need been a stunning victor, however she was not an undeserving one. The course has lengthy rewarded those that don’t blink, and although it may need been troublesome to identify below the brim of her hat, Davis by no means did.

    “I believe I’ve at all times felt slightly bit older than 16,” Davis mentioned. “I believe golf helps you mature once you’re touring a lot and taking part in all these tournaments. And that’s, I don’t know, a very good factor.”

    I don’t actually really feel the nerves.

    Anna Davis

    Maturity comes shortly at Augusta Nationwide. For many who have already got it, like Davis, that may be arduous to see. For many who are pressured to earn it, like Latanna Stone, the teachings could be merciless.

    Not all of them, although. On Saturday, as Davis walked towards Butler Cabin to just accept her {hardware}, Stone walked by the maze following the 18th inexperienced in a match of tears. A sizeable viewers adopted the winner towards the trophy presentation, however an excellent bigger one adopted the loser. As Stone walked towards the clubhouse, the gallery erupted into its most earnest ovation of the afternoon.

    As with each last spherical at Augusta Nationwide, there was a loser … and a crowd decided to have a good time her anyway.

    “Actually overwhelming, I wasn’t actually anticipating that and that actually kinda introduced me to tears,” Stone mentioned. “I’ve by no means skilled fairly a big crowd like that and have them help me. I’m going to cherish that perpetually. It made me really feel loads higher.”

    On the Augusta Nationwide Girls’s Newbie, the characters are new, however the story certain isn’t.

    James Colgan Editor

    James Colgan is an assistant editor at GOLF, contributing tales for the web site and journal on a broad vary of matters. He writes the Sizzling Mic, GOLF’s weekly media column, and makes use of his broadcast expertise throughout the model’s social media and video platforms. A 2019 graduate of Syracuse College, James — and evidently, his golf recreation — remains to be defrosting from 4 years within the snow, throughout which period he minimize his enamel at NFL Movies, CBS Information and Fox Sports activities. Previous to becoming a member of GOLF, James was a caddie scholarship recipient (and astute looper) on Lengthy Island, the place he’s from.

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