Surrounding a massive body of water, the Carolina Trace Country Club’s Lake Course is the golfer’s rendition of Paradise Island nestled in the pastoral backwoods of Sanford, North Carolina. An eclectic combination of “surf and turf”, players experience the sheer beauty of Lake Trace and the tranquility of Carolina wilderness on an 18-hole expedition through the club’s premises.
Beyond the glimmering water and vivid natural scenery is an enticing challenge, from bunker-lined fairways to forced carries over sizeable inlets of Lake Trace. Serving as the host site for the US Women’s Open Sectional Qualifier for six-consecutive years from 2008-2014, Carolina Trace will present a considerable test for the field of 54 set to compete in the 2019 Carolina’s Classic next weekend.
Players will compete in one of two PKBGT National divisions: Bell National at 5,972 yards and Futures National at 5,273 yards. The first event in North Carolina since the conclusion of the 2019 Prep Preview season will feature several players stepping up to the Bell National level of competition.
The weekend in Sanford presents an opportunity for players to make a splash in the Order of Merit rankings and the margin of separation in the Futures National division is razor-thin. We take a closer look at the players to watch at the 2019 PKBGT Carolina’s Classic!
Headlining the 24 player Bell National field, Paris Fieldings (Suffolk, VA 2023) looks to add to a strong season with her first win. Fieldings is currently ranked second on the Bell National Order of Merit and 13 on the PKBGT Performance Index. She has four Top Five finishes to her 2019 campaign including a T2 result at the 2019 Mid-Atlantic Girls Championship last weekend.
In her return to the course for the first time since taking home the 2019 Prep Preview Order of Merit title, Macy Pate (Boone, NC 2024) steps up to the Bell National level once again. Pate’s spectacular Prep Preview season came with three Top Two finishes including a win at the 2019 PKBGT Spring Invitational. She hopes to crack the Top Ten in a Bell National field where her top finish this season was a T15 at the 2019 PKB Foundation Classic.
Ranked inside the Top Ten on the Order of Merit, Alexia Siehl (Fort Mill, SC 2022) hopes to improve her position with a strong tournament at Carolina Trace. Siehl is currently ranked ninth on the Order of Merit and 12 on the Performance Index. She is fresh off of a ninth-place finish at the 2019 PKBGT Masters, adding a second Top Ten finish to her season.
Macie Burcham (Greensboro, NC 2021) currently sits at 53 on the Performance Index and 29 on the Order of Merit. Burcham returns to the PKBGT for the first time since the 2019 Tar Heel Classic. She has two Top Five finishes this season: T8 at the 2019 Orange Whip Classic and T5 at the 2019 PKB Foundation Classic.
Wrapping up the players to watch in the Bell National division, Jessica Rathbone (Montpelier, VA 2020) enters the 2019 Carolina’s Classic following her top finish of the current season. Rathbone earned a T12 finish at the 2019 PKBGT Masters at Greenville Country Club earlier this month. She is currently ranked inside the Top 100 of the Performance Index and 50 on the Order of Merit.
After representing the PKBGT at the Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals in Augusta, Ellen Yu (High Point, NC 2026) returns to the tour at Carolina Trace Country Club. Yu finished fourth in the 10 to 11-year-old bracket at the National Finals. She is currently ranked sixth on the Futures National Order of Merit and has four Top Ten finishes this season. Yu earned her first win at the 2019 PKBGT Spring Invitational.
Sitting atop the Order of Merit rankings, Sophie Lauture (Raleigh, NC 2024) is fresh off her second win of the season at the 2019 PKBGT Masters. Lauture’s other win came at the 2019 RocketTour Players Championship in February. She has finished in the Top 10 each of the eight events she competed in this season.
In a head-to-head battle with Lauture at the top of the Order of Merit rankings, Grace Ridenour (Cary, NC 2025) is currently one spot back in second place. Ridenour has compiled an impressive 2019 resume as well, with six Top Five finishes. She kicked off her season with a win at the 2019 Palmetto Dunes Resort Classic and earned her second victory at the 2019 Palmetto Classic.
Currently ranked ninth on the Order of Merit rankings, Emerson Dever (Durham, NC 2025) is coming off her best finish in the Futures National division this season. Her T5 finish at the 2019 PKBGT Masters is the third Top Ten finish of her year. She also has a T2 finish in the Championship Division at the PKBGT Discovery Invitational.
Madison Messimer (Mrytle Beach, SC 2025) rounds out the players to watch at the 2019 PKBGT Carolina’s Classic. Currently T13 on the Order of Merit, Messimer has two Top Ten finishes in her three PKBGT events this season. Her top performance came at the 2019 PKBGT Spring Invitational where she finished in second place.
We would like to wish all of our competitors at Carolina Trace Country Club the best of luck at the 2019 PKBGT Carolina’s Classic! New faces grace both divisions while those familiar with the top of the leaderboard look to defend their position. An opportunity to move up or secure position within the rankings, a weekend on the Lake Course in Sanford is certain to provide exciting competition for the entire duration.
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/.