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This time last year Anna Davis entered the Augusta National Women’s Amateur as a successful junior golfer but a relatively unknown name.

Fast forward to this year and the 17-year-old will make a return trip down Magnolia Lane to defend her title as one of the must-watch players in the loaded field.

Donning her now-signature bucket hat, Davis shocked the patrons at Augusta National in 2022 with her come-from-behind victory as the 16-year-old became the event’s youngest champion in its three-year history and finished as the lone player under par for the tournament. Davis made four birdies in the final round, including two at Amen Corner on Nos. 12 and 13, with a lone bogey on the par-4 third hole.

Now 17, Davis thinks of herself as more mature both on and off the course, a dangerous combination for the rest of the field that includes the likes of 2021 champion Tsubasa Kajitani and the world’s top amateur and Stanford star, Rose Zhang.

“I think it’s made me mature a little bit more as a person and in my golf game, as well, that’s definitely a big thing,” Davis said of how her life has changed since her signature win.

Davis prepared for her title defense last week at the prestigious Junior Invitational at Sage Valley, where she won wire-to-wire on a course that sets up with similar challenges to both Augusta National and Champions Retreat, where the first two rounds of the ANWA will be contested.

“Getting to play in this area is helpful,” Davis said of her Sage Valley experience, which is located less than 20 miles from Augusta National. “Sage Valley is very similar to Augusta and Champions Retreat so being able to play at Sage Valley is an advantage for sure.”

As if she needed another leg up on the field.