Junior Invitational: Aldrich Potgieter, Anna Davis off to early leads at Sage Valley
16 Mar 2023
by Pete Wlodkowski of

see also: View results for Junior Invitational, Sage Valley Golf Club, Anna Davis Rankings

Aldrich Potgieter (Matthew Harris, Sage Valley G.C.)
Aldrich Potgieter (Matthew Harris, Sage Valley G.C.)

The Junior Invitational, recognized by Golfweek as the top junior event in golf, got underway today at the very Augusta National-like Sage Valley Golf Club in Graniteville, South Carolina. Located just 20 minutes from the world's most famous golf course, the course is winds through similar pines, with impeccable conditions and caddies wearing white overalls.

With 36 of the top boys and 24 top girls on hand, it should be no surprise to see familiar names at the top of the leaderboard.

Anna Davis, the 2022 Augusta National Women’s Amateur winner, is the Girls' leader after firing a first-round 70. Aldrich Potgieter, who captured the 2022 Open Amateur Championship, is the Boys' leader after firing 7-under 65.

Anna Davis (Matthew Harris photo)
Davis, another now famous left-hander from the San Diego area (Spring Valley), owns a two-shot lead over Nika Ito of Japan and Andrea Revuelta of Spain. The Auburn University-bound Davis carded five birdies in her first round, including one at the last, to push her lead to two shots.

“I was hitting it really close most of the day,” said Davis.

“I had a rocky start there for a second on the front nine, but I brought it back. I was hitting every fairway and every green, but my putting kind of let me down a little today. But other than that, it's good.”

Davis was sporting a visor instead of the bucket hat that was so popular among fans at last year's "ANWA."

Potgieter, who will tee it up at the 2023 Masters thanks to his Open Amateur Championship win, torched the Sage Valley Golf Club in his first competitive round there, posting seven birdies and no bogeys in route to his opening-round 65. He has a six-shot lead heading into the second round over four players, including Preston Stout, the No. 1-ranked junior Boys player in the junior golf rankings.

Potgieter’s 65 ties for the fourth-lowest round in the 12-year history of the event.

“I started off really good with four birdies on the first four holes,” said Potgieter. “I was hitting the ball solid all day, hitting most of the fairways. I'm looking forward to tomorrow.”

Potgieter may be preparing for The Masters in April, but Anna Davis will also get to play Augusta National, and as a returning champion no less. The 2022 ANWA champion is getting ready to defend her title at the end of March. They couldn't have come to a better place to get ready.

The second round of the tournament begins at 8:30 a.m. ET at the Sage Valley Golf Club. The event is open to the public, and admission is free.

-- Andy Boggs, Alday PR contributed to this report

View results for Junior Invitational
ABOUT THE Junior Invitational

The Junior Invitational's mission is to operate the most prestigious junior golf championship in the world—an invitation-only annual event for the top 36 boys and 24 girls from around the globe, hosted by the renowned Sage Valley Golf Club.

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