Tapping raindrops pattered on the roof of the Betty Ellison Pavillion early Sunday morning while players marched to the check-in area for their final round of play. Windshield wipers powering at full force cleared the view for parents driving into the Furman University Golf Club while the girls cleared their minds for 18 holes of golf to be played.
Less than 24 hours prior, the girls struck their first drive of the day in the first round of play. Rallying back after a short night of sleep and quick turnaround, they were back at the practice range before the sun rose over the trees.
As soon as the jackets and ski caps were packed away for the summer, biting winds reappeared and moisture from the drizzle made it feel even colder. By the end of the afternoon, the sun was back out shining though the winds never died down.
Meanwhile, the raw conditions early made for a tough front nine for the competitors across the board. Only three players in the Bell National field finished even par on the front half of their round. At the end of the day, one player in each division stood alone as champion of the 2019 PKBGT Palmetto Classic!
Home sweet home! Furman University Women’s Golf team commit Anna Morgan (Spartanburg, SC 2019) ran the table at her future home course this weekend. Morgan fired a three-under first round and came back on Sunday to shoot 73 (+1). She faced adversity on the front nine dropping into second place, only to regain first with three birdies on her back nine. She closed out the weekend with a total score of 69, 73 = 142 (-2) to win the 2019 PKBGT Palmetto Classic in the 48 player Bell National field.
Catching the fire which Morgan started on Day One, Sara Im (Duluth, GA 2023) went off for an impressive final round. Im faced a tough front nine, though she managed to slip one birdie into the mix. She caught fire on her back nine where she dropped five birdies in six holes of her five-under-par 32. Im finished the day with a total score of 72 (E), paired with her 73 (+1) from the first round. She took home runner-up honors with a total weekend score of 145 (+1).
Closing out the Bell National Top Five in a three-way tie for third place were Alyssa Montgomery (Knoxville, TN 2019), Isabella van der Biest (Kingsport, TN 2021), and Alexsandra Lapple (Ridgefield, CT 2023). Each of the three finished the weekend with final scores of 146 (+2).
Lapple went on a run with three birdies in a row on her back nine, but a shaky front nine left her too far back to make a push for the win. She finished the weekend with scores of 71, 75. Montgomery played a steadily consistent round on Sunday, but three hiccups prevented her from making a run at Morgan. She closed out the tournament with scores of 70, 76. Van der Biest found her stride on the second day of competition, shooting even-par with three birdies on her back nine. She finished the weekend with scores of 74, 72.
It was a start-to-finish lead for Grace Ridenour (Cary, NC 2025), never faltering in a weekend atop the 28 player Futures National Leaderboard. Ridenour took home the 2019 PKBGT Palmetto Classic championship at Furman University for her second win of the season. With a slow start Sunday morning, she found her groove on the back nine to close out the weekend. On the weekend, Ridenour shot 78, 81 = 159 (+15).
Finishing four strokes behind Ridenour, Kinsley Smith (Raleigh, NC 2024) earned runner-up honors after a total weekend score of 80, 83 = 163 (+19). Though she hit some bumps along the way, Smith played with consistency throughout the weekend remaining toward the top of the leaderboard all the way.
Consistency is key. No one followed that theory better than Shea Smith (Charlotte, NC 2022) this weekend. Smith shot back-to-back scores of 82 to finish the weekend with a total score of 164 (+20). She closed out her weekend with a high note, finishing the 18th hole with a birdie.
Elizabeth Lohbauer (Huntersville, NC 2021) finished the weekend in fourth place after shooting a total score of 83, 82 = 165 (+21). Lohbauer knocked in two birdies during her final round on the way to a Top Five finish.
Rounding out the Top Five in the Futures National division was Emma Curran (Greer, SC 2021). Greer finished the weekend with a total score of 85, 81 = 166 (+22). Her final round came with three birdies to even out an up-and-down back nine and solidify her fifth-place finish.
We would like to extend our greatest thanks to the entire staff at the Furman University Golf Club for their incredibly generous hospitality throughout the weekend. We would also like to thank the Furman University Women’s Golf Team for serving as volunteer starters for Sunday’s final round. With another Classic in the books, congratulations to all of our top finishers!
About the PKBGT
Founded in 2007 by the Triad Youth Golf Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization, as a local girls’ golf tour in the Triad region of North Carolina, the tour began as a simple concept: create more effective competitive playing opportunities for girls. By utilizing innovative yardage-based divisions instead of the traditional age-based format, the tour focused on developing tournament experience at the player’s pace. The 2019 season will feature over 90 tournaments in 9 states on the East Coast and with over 900 members, the PKBGT is the largest girl’s only tour in the country. Learn more about the PKBGT at http://www.pkbgt.org/.