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Anna Davis’ defence of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship has got off to a nightmare start.

The 17-year-old was assessed a four-shot penalty following the first round of this year’s tournament following two separate violations on the par-4 first hole.

It was reported that picked up her ball twice from the rough on the first hole at Champions Retreat to lift, clean and place, misinterpreting a local rule that was implemented by tournament officials earlier in the week and communicated to players yesterday.

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Due to heavy rain, they decided to adopt Model Local Rule E-3 “preferred lies” for the first two rounds of the tournament. The ruling restricts the use of preferred lies to “areas cut to fairway height or less”.

The rule restricts the use of preferred lies to “areas cut to fairway height or less”. Davis, however, mistakenly thought that it applied to the entire course.

Consequently, her bogey-five on the first hole was amended to a quintuple-bogey nine – two shots for each infraction.

In a statement posted on social media, tournament officials said: “During play of her first hole, Anna Davis lifted her ball and failed to replace it on its original spot on two separate occurrences. Under Rule 9.4, Ms. Davis has been penalised two strokes for each occurrence of playing from a wrong place. Her score on hole 1 will be increased from 5 to 9.”

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Davis was alerted to the violation on the fourth hole, which she proceeded to double-bogey.

Following the penalty, she sits at four-over for the tournament in a tie for 41st and ten shots off the early pace set by Rose Zhang, the current No.1 on the women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking.

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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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