Davis Petty’s cap shared a popular golf greeting in capital block letters on Tuesday night: IABDIP.
“It’s a beautiful day in Pinehurst.”
It was a pretty nice day in Spartanburg, too.
Officially, in fact, Nov. 1 was Davis Petty Day.
Petty, the 11-year-old phenom who is taking the golf world by storm, was honored with a reception at Delaney’s Irish Pub.
There, he learned that he’s been named the Under Armour Junior Player of the Year. His navy cap was soon surrounded by a sea of gray ones, all bearing the same message DPno.1.
“It feels awesome,” Petty said. “Especially this event, to have everybody show up. I’m just so grateful. This Under Armour season has been a grind, and one thing I’ve done is I’ve been really consistent. I’ve been working really hard. Playing up a division and getting second place is probably one of my proudest moments. To me, playing up a division and finishing second is huge.”
Petty’s coach, Chip Ridley, noted some of Davis’ accomplishments, and the numbers are staggering.
To go with a 531-1 record in tournaments on the world stage, Petty has a slew of junior titles, the 2021 Under Armour Summer National title, the 2022 Under Armour Winter National title, a runner-up finish in the 2022 Under Armour Summer National tournament, an age group up from where he typically competes, and the Under Armour World Championship, where he shot scores of 65-67 to become the first Under Armour World Champion.
He has an 18-hole scoring average of 68.6 and a nine-hole stroke average of 34.3.
Just about the only thing he might need to work on is estimating crowd size.
“I thought I was just coming here for dinner with my parents and my golf coach,” Petty said with a laugh. “I walk in and there’s 750,000 people in here with DPno.1 hats. I’m so grateful.”
There weren’t that many, but there were a bunch.
One was Spartanburg City Council Member Erica Brown,who was on hand to officially announce Davis Petty Day in the city, with a proclamation from Mayor Jerome Rice
There were also friends and family, and even guests who appeared through video. Among them were one of Petty’s favorite professional golfers, Talor Gooch, and putter manufacturer Sam Bettinardi, whose designs Petty plays and whose logo was on his pullover at the event.
“That’s insane to me,” he said. “I’ve loved Bettinardi putters and Bettinardi everything forever now. To have him say that to me, I’m just so blessed. It’s awesome.”
Just as special, though, were video tributes from those close to him, including Spartanburg golfer Kyle Milner and Davis’ father, Joel.
“To see them on the video was awesome,” he said. “Kyle’s almost like a second father to me. And my dad…that just means the world to me.”
Ridley said the measured maturity that Petty showed in accepting the recognition that comes with the award is something that sets the young golfer apart.
“Coaching Davis has been one of the greatest highlights of my life because I’ve become his friend,” Ridley said. “He’s so warm, so open, so mature. It makes people want to gravitate around him. Tonight, for so many people to come out, it’s just a testament to that. So many people have great accomplishments, but when you’re humble about it, when you give people a little bit of it and they feel like it’s their accomplishment too, that’s when you have the support team that Davis has.”