East County Sports

Cougars’ Davis wins Jr. PGA national title

Anna Davis, of Spring Valley, watches her drive on Thursday. / PGA OF AMERICA

2021 LOCAL COVERAGE

 

From staff and wire reports

 

LOUISVILLE – Anna Davis, a sophomore at Steele Canyon High, claimed a seven-stroke victory on Friday at the 45th Girls Junior PGA Championship at historic Valhalla Golf Club.

The 15-year-old Davis was nursing a two-stroke lead in the final round when she sank a 12-foot birdie putt on the 15th hole, where her closest rival hit into the water en route to a triple bogey for a four-shot swing.

“It went from two to a six-shot lead in like minutes,” said Davis, who has won four times on the Southern California PGA Junior Tour. “So, I could relax a little bit after that, which was nice to not be super stressed going into the last few holes.

“It feels so good to top off the summer this way with a big win at a tournament like this. If I was put in this situation a year ago, I definitely would have struggled mentally, that’s for sure. But my mental game has improved so much, just keeping my head in the game, worrying about me and not what the other girls are doing.”

For finishing in the top two, Davis earned a spot on the U.S. Junior Ryder Cup team. Despite the fact that the formal matches have been called off due to the pandemic, a U.S. team consisting of six boys and six girls will still be selected. That squad will travel to Whistling Straits, in Sheboygan, Wisc., in September to compete in an early-week exhibition match

Davis, who also won the PING Heather Farr Classic earlier this year (see video), posted a score of 69-68-73-67—277, 15-under-par.

A win in this event is on the resume of many elite players, including many current top professionals.

Past champions of the Girls Junior PGA Championship include Cristie Kerr, Inbee Park, Lexi Thompson, Ariya Jutanugarn, Heather Farr, Beth Bauer, Kellee Booth, Vicki Goetze, Grace Park, Leigh Anne Hardin, Aree Song, Angela Park, Yuka Saso, Brandie Burton, Penny Hammel, Rose Zhang, Brittany Altomare, Luci Li, and Yealimi No.

Davis is a popular player with her peers not only on the junior circuit but also with her Steele Canyon teammates and opponents in the section, especially the top players in the county which she competes against regularly.

Davis was third at the AJGA’s Under Armour/Albane Valenzuela Girls Championship in May and finished fourth at the Rolex Girls Junior Championship the next month. At this month’s U.S. Girls’ Junior, she bowed out in the first round of match play.

Davis finished second in the San Diego CIF girls championship tournament on June 2-3. Girls’ golf in the section is usually contested in the fall season.

During the regular season, contested this past Spring, Davis carded a 28 for nine holes over the par-36 Ranch Course in a victory over West Hills at Steele Canyon Golf Club.

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