Golf

Augusta National Women's Amateur Champ Anna Davis on Her Historic Win, Going Pro, and Why Bucket Hats are Like Superman's Glasses

San Diego high schooler shares her experience after winning a tournament on golf's most famous course

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 02: Anna Davis of the United States celebrates with the trophy after winning during the final round of the Augusta National Women's Amateur at Augusta National Golf Club on April 02, 2022 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
David Cannon/Getty Images

Over the weekend 16-year-old Anna Davis was watching Scottie Scheffler win the Masters Tournament, and in a way playing the course right along with him.

“Yeah, I was. I was sitting down with my family and I was like, oh this one’s a hard shot,” says Davis, chuckling at the memory.

Davis would certainly know. The previous Saturday, the San Diego high schooler became the youngest winner in the history of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, a tournament only the best non-professional golfers on earth earn a spot in. Playing a course like that, with a history and tradition unlike any other, was not lost on someone who was born the year AFTER Tiger Woods won his 4th Masters title.

“Kind of in the back of your mind you so many legends and so many great golfers have walked on that golf course and played where you’re playing. So, it’s just cool to somehow be a part of that history now,” says Davis.

When you’re a part of history, you earn a bit of fame. Davis, who says she didn’t expect to win the event at such a young age, is becoming a bit of a local celebrity.

“The other day I was just in the store some people were like, oh, that’s the golfer girl. It was really funny.”

It helps that Anna almost has her own brand already, thanks to a pair of unique aspects to her game. One is, she plays left-handed, a rarity in women’s golf. Only once in LPGA Tour history was a lefty won a tournament. That was Bonnie Bryant in 1976.

“I get recognized for that a lot, too,” says Davis. “They’re like, oh my God, you’re on the wrong side of the ball. It’s funny, though. I’m also known for that a lot.”

More than anything else, Anna is known for her headwear. She won the tournament wearing a bucket hat. That’s a fashion statement that not many folks can pull off. It’s kind of become her signature.

“It’s kind of funny because I’ll put my bucket hat on and people will recognize me but I’ll take it off and nobody knows who I am. But everyone recognizes me when I have a bucket hat on.”

It’s really the same concept as Clark Kent putting on glasses and being anonymous, but when he takes them off everyone knows he’s Superman.

“Yes, that’s literally what it is.”

The bucket lid came from a place of parental practicality.

“Back in July I had a tournament and my dad wanted me to wear a bucket hat because it was super hot. I got a lot of attention for wearing a bucket hat. People were like, why are you wearing a bucket hat? Nobody really wears one on the golf course, which is weird. But then I kind of stopped wearing it and when I went to go to Augusta I was like oh, let’s wear a bucket hat. I haven’t put one on in a while.”

She didn't need a fancy hat to get the attention of a fellow Augusta National champion. Her game took care of that.

That tournament in July was the Junior PGA Championship in Louisville. She won it by seven shots and is now 2-0 on Major Championship courses wearing the bucket hat. By the way, the pro shop at Augusta National says after her win sales of bucket hats went through the roof.

Davis is taking online classes through Steele Canyon High School and spends equal parts of her day studying and practicing. The next few months are going to be awfully hectic. She’s earned exemptions into the U.S. Open, the British Open, the U.S. Amateur, the U.S. Junior Amateur, and a few LPGA events, which brings up the question of when to go pro. It’s an idea Anna is absolutely kicking around.

“It kind of depends on how I play in those events and if I can play with those girls.”

The big question mark will be the British Open. That’s a long trip, but she’s never played the classic courses of Europe before.

“I really do want to go because it is a Major. So, I mean, why not? It’s also at Muirfield, which is a really old golf course, so that would be a lot of fun. Might as well for the experience.”

And, good news: bucket hats are easy to fit into the overhead compartment.

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