A troublesome back nine Sunday couldn't damper the experience for Molly Davidson, an amateur golfer from Birmingham playing in the Tuscaloosa Toyota Classic at Ol' Colony Golf Complex.
The 16-year-old played in the LPGA Epson Tour event at Ol' Colony under a sponsors exemption. Davidson was in the top 10 on the leaderboard at 5-under when she made the turn Sunday, then sputtered to finish even part and in a tie for 47th.
Celine Borge sank a 20-foot putt on No. 18 to win the tournament at 15-under, one stroke better than Hyo Joon Jang. Borge shot a 9-under-63 in the final round to earn her first victory on the Epson Tour, which consists of players trying to reach the LPGA Tour. Robyn Choi set the course record a 10-under-62 on Friday.
Davidson was able to keep up with the pros and finished in front of 58 of them. On Sunday, she was hitting the ball at distances alongside her playing partners. Davidson welcomed the experience she gained at the tournament and is ready to take the lessons with her.
"It was just a great experience to be able to play with these pros and just truly blessed to have this opportunity," Davidson said. "It says a lot. Makes me feel good that I'm up there with them."
Davidson had an entourage of friends and family, and occasionally Alabama women's golf coach Mic Potter. Davidson's caddie for the week, Will Davidson, typically is on the bag for LPGA pro Lexi Thompson. He saw firsthand how special Davidson can be.
"She's got a ton of game," Davison said. "She's going to go a long way in this game. ... Obviously she's still 16, but she's got a great mental game. She is able to shake stuff off. She'll grow and mature."
Davidson's playing partner Sunday, Riley Rennell, finished 5-under, also complimented her game and thinks Davidson could go far in golf.
"She's very mature for her age. I could see that in some of the tougher situations she got frustrated, which is natural for anybody," Rennell said. "That's one of the things about the game that you have to learn through experience. She handled herself very well."
Davidson got a birdie in the middle of the two double bogeys on her final round, and later responded to another bogey with a birdie. She made 13 birdies during the 54-hole tournament.
This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: 16-year-old Molly Davidson impresses at Tuscaloosa Toyota Classic