AUGUSTA, Ga. — Anna Davis was little more than a silhouette from right of the ninth green as darkness fell quickly at the end of a long day at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. The only light came from a video board and headlights from carts making their way in.
Not the least bit rattled, the 16-year-old from San Diego pitched with perfect pace to 2 feet to save par and post a 4-over 76 at Champions Retreat, one of only nine players to finish the second round.
What started as lingering thunderstorms turned into a heavy rain that delayed the start of the second round for for seven-and-a-half hours. That led to what should be a longer day, but far more fun on Friday.
Fifty-one players will finish the second round on Friday morning – some with only one hole to play, others with nine holes – before heading over to Augusta National for a practice round.
It starts with an elite competition. It ends for so many of them with a dream come true.
Of the nine players who finished, Davis was at 2-over 146 and in a tie for eighth, virtually assured of being among the 30 players from a field of 60 who advance to the final round at the home of the Masters.
No one was under par.
Beatrice Wallin of Sweden was 1 under for the round through 16 holes and even par for the tournament, tied with Amari Avery, who also was 1 under for the day through 16.
Joining them at even par was Hailey Borjas, the Californian who plays at Michigan. Her day ended on a sour note with consecutive bogeys. Even so, she was excited for Friday.
She was at Augusta National earlier in the week, driving down Magnolia Lane and having a group dinner hosted by the club chairman.
“Seeing Augusta for the first time, it was like a dream come true,” Borjas said.
She was more excited about her first chance to play it than her position in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, in its third year but already considered elite among amateur events because of where it’s at.
“I don’t really like to think about golf when I’m playing golf, if that makes any sense,” Borjas said. “I like to talk about other things, like shoes. So to think about Augusta National tomorrow will keep me going.”
U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Jensen Castle had the best round going at 2 under through 16 holes, leaving her one shot out of the lead.
The course was just as difficult as the opening round, when strong wind allowed only five players to break par. The wind subsided after the rain, though it left the course soggy and longer, even as the greens were slightly more receptive.
Rose Zhang, the No. 1 amateur in the world, made progress by not really going anywhere. She put together one bogey and 13 pars and improved from a tie for 39th to a tie for 26th.
Rachel Heck of Stanford, the No. 3 player in women’s amateur golf who won six times in one semester last year as a freshman, was going the other direction. Heck had a pair of double bogeys in her opening four holes and was 5 over through 10 holes, leaving her outside the projected cut line at 6 over.
The cut is a hard 30. Any ties lead to a sudden-death playoff to see who advances, although everyone gets to play a practice round at Augusta National on Friday.