Last year’s Augusta National Women’s Amateur champion Anna Davis had a banner day on Saturday at the Mizuho Americas Open, earning 43 Stableford points to co-lead the AJGA competition at Liberty National Golf Club with 2022 U.S Girls’ Junior winner Yana Wilson. But unlike most of her competition, Davis is very familiar with teeing it up alongside the LPGA’s top talent, having played in seven Tour events last season. She made the cut in five of those seven starts, including the Amundi Evian Championship, and has been leaning on that experience so far this week in Jersey City, N.J. as she looks to capture her third AJGA win of the season.
“It's definitely been a fun event so far. Getting to play with the pros was super fun. I played in a few tour events last summer, so being in this environment again is very fun,” said Davis, who made her LPGA Tour debut at the 2022 Palos Verdes Championship. “It's a great experience for me and for the other girls as well to be able to measure our games against their games and see what we can work on and things like that. They picked a great venue for it, too.”
Davis has committed to play collegiate golf at Auburn University and will head to Alabama a semester early in the spring of 2024. On the first of two days that the juniors will be grouped with the professionals at Liberty National, the 17-year-old found herself alongside New Jersey native Marina Alex and Kentucky’s Emma Talley, who played collegiate golf at the University of Alabama and won the 2015 NCAA Division I National Championship as an individual. But despite the rivalry between their respective colleges, Davis said she had a good time with her playing partners on day three and learned a lot from the two LPGA Tour stalwarts as she compared her game to theirs.
“Me and Emma (Talley) talked about college because I'm going to Auburn, and she went to Alabama. Already had a rivalry at the start of the day. But yeah, (Talley and Marina Alex) are very nice girls. Definitely one of the better groups I've had on Tour. It was very fun,” said Davis. “In general, amateurs versus pros, they make a lot fewer mistakes than we do. I hit a shot today from the left rough and I hit it to a bunker, whereas it's kind of a par hole at that point. You want to hit it on the green, not just hit it in the bunker. Things like that. Also, the mental side of it, having more confidence over the ball and once you get over a shot, like fully trust it. Just smaller things like that. Nothing really huge.”