U.S. WOMEN'S MID-AMATEUR
Davison’s Countdown Clock Reaches Zero
October 2, 2015 | Choudrant, La.
By Stuart Hall
This week's U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship has been on Sarah Davison’s mind for quite some time. One thousand and forty one days to be exact.
Nov. 25, 2012 is the date when Squire Creek Country Club was awarded this year’s championship, and if Davison needed a constant daily reminder since, she only had to walk just beyond her backyard.
Since getting married in 2009, Davison, 35, has lived adjacent to the Tom Fazio-designed Squire Creek course, first off the par-5 second hole and now off the par-5 17th hole. The Davisons are currently building a house off the par-4 fourth hole.
“When I heard the news three years ago, this tournament became my goal,” said Davison, who was a three-time All-Southeastern Conference player at the University of Alabama before playing two years on the LPGA’s developmental Symetra Tour and then settling down in Choudrant.
The former Sarah Johnston, a native of Shreveport, La., regained her amateur status in 2008 and married Steve Davison, a local attorney and co-developer of the Squire Creek community, the following year. The couple has 4-year-old twins, daughter Cate and son Joseph.
The competitive spirit never left Davison.
"I love amateur golf,” said Davison, who reached the U.S. Girls’ Junior semifinals in 1997 and won the Louisiana Women’s State Amateur Championship in 2009 and 2013, the second having been played at Squire Creek. “There’s just not near as much pressure, and I don’t really love to practice unless I have something to play for."
For as long as this week has been blocked off on Davison’s calendar, she still needed to qualify.
"I am not going to lie, I felt a ton of pressure for the qualifier,” said Davison of the Aug. 31 round at Firewheel Golf Park’s Bridges Course in Garland, Texas. "I was putting too much thought into it."
And the pressure showed as Davison double bogeyed the second hole and was 3 over through four holes.
“I just had to forget what I was playing for and play golf,” said Davison, who shot 74 to safely earn one of eight spots awarded from the qualifier. She has also qualified for the past two U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateurs, reaching match play both times.
Helping Davison navigate the week will be her husband, Steve, who played college baseball nearby at Louisiana Tech and will serve as her caddie. His role is quite specific.
"I will try to avoid divorce,” he cracked. "That is my main goal. I will take 100 percent of the blame for anything that goes bad and give her all the credit for anything that happens good. I just hope she is able to relax and enjoy the week."
As difficult as the 6,061-yard, par-72 Squire Creek is set to play this week, Davison’s biggest challenge may come from outside the ropes. The personable Davison admits she could hold a conversation with a wall, so politely ignoring the expected well-wishers while on the course will be difficult.
“For the four and a half hours that I’m out on the course, I’m really going to try and forget who I might see standing there watching me on the green or in the fairway,” she said. “Everyone has been so supportive and is pulling for me, but I’m also hoping everyone knows how golf is, that anything can happen, especially in match play. I just have to go play like I know I can.”
Stuart Hall is a North Carolina-based freelance writer whose work frequently appears on USGA websites.