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Anna Davis, Aldrich Potgieter win Junior Invitational wire-to-wire

Anna Davis, Aldrich Potgieter win Junior Invitational wire-to-wire

GRANITEVILLE, S.C. — Last year the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley featured a pair of playoffs to decide the boys and girls titles. The theme of this year’s event was wire-to-wire winners.

Aldrich Potgieter and Anna Davis were out in front all week at the nation’s top junior tournament and will leave the pristine club among the South Carolina pines with the trophies and the event’s signature gold jackets. Each player held a five-shot lead entering Saturday’s final round and won in impressive fashion.

“I went into the week wanting to win, thinking I was gonna win,” said Davis after the final round. “I’ve always had high expectations for myself.”

Nika Ito, who finished solo second, holed out from the fairway for eagle on the 17th hole to put the pressure on Davis, who was keeping tabs on the leaderboard all afternoon.

“That’s my second time getting holed-out on having the lead, so I was used to it and thought, ‘Okay, it’s fine. It happens,’” said Davis. “When you’re in that position, you kind of have to expect that stuff to happen so it doesn’t catch you off guard.”

Davis responded by hitting a “pretty bad second shot” that narrowly avoided the water guarding the 17th green.

“I had room because I’m left-handed. If I was right-handed, I would have been standing in the water,” explained Davis. From there the rising star followed Ito’s lead and chipped in to stop the momentum swing.

Davis, an Auburn commit, turned 17 on Friday and celebrated her birthday by walking in the winning putt from just off the 18th green with some serious swagger to finish at 7 under for the tournament.

“Kind of a douche bag move,” she said with a chuckle after the round. “Right off the putter face I thought, ‘that has to be in,’ so I walked it in.”

Ito finished two shots back at 5 under, with Kiara Romero in third at even par after firing the day’s low round of 5-under 67.

Next up for Davis is her title defense in two weeks at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, where she’ll enter with even more pressure and expectations after her win in 2022.

“I think it just it helps like knowing that I can play in this area,” Davis said of…


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