GRANITEVILLE, S.C. – Nobody had more fun than Savannah De Bock at the 2023 Junior Invitational at Sage Valley.
The Belgian had such a big smile on her face all week at the nation’s top junior tournament that you’d think she won by a landslide, when in reality she finished on the bottom half of the leaderboard. When’s the last time you walked off a green with a smile after making a double bogey? De Bock did it at least twice.
“Well, it’s really important for me to stay positive, because nothing good can come from me being negative,” she explained. “I’m a really outgoing person, really positive person, so that’s just my way of being and if I’m not joyous, what am I?”
De Bock, No. 51 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, has an infectious personality that you can’t help but gravitate towards. She was sitting alone eating lunch after Saturday’s final round at the pristine Sage Valley Golf Club when four players from the boys’ side of the annual competition immediately came to join her as soon as they saw her. Not long after sitting down the laughter ensued.
“I made new friends, not only my roommates and other girls, but actually other boys, so that’s cool,” said De Bock. “I think I’ll remember the spirit of friendship that was here, I felt at home here.”
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She entertained her caddie all week long with songs and jokes and had animated discussions in the middle of the round with fellow players about scrambled eggs. De Bock danced around the property from event to event each night, often in her Gryffindor sweatshirt (a fitting house placement for all you Harry Potter fans out there). After dinner one night, De Bock grabbed a piece of chocolate cake for desert but couldn’t find a fork. Without skipping a beat, she grabbed some chopsticks and went on her merry way.
While she didn’t leave Sage Valley with the trophy, De Bock will take home countless memories, new friends and the unofficial title as the Most Fun Player of the Week.
“It was just amazing. Everyone is so nice here. I made a lot of friends so that’s really cool,” De Bock said of her experience. “The course is in such great shape. I’ve never played a course so well maintained in my life. The greens are really hard but it’s really fun to play. I learned a lot, so that’s cool. I’m a bit disappointed about my score overall, but I’ve learned a lot, so…
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