Steamy moisture hung in the air on Saturday morning when members began to arrive for check-in at Forest Oaks Country Club. The PKBGT North Carolina Regional Series prepared for the first of three two-day events with the playing of the 2019 PKBGT Gate City Classic.
Settled in the tour’s back yard of Greensboro, the Gate City Classic brought together 74 of the region’s members for the second event of the 2019 season.
Mother Nature blessed the tour with a Saturday free of rainy conditions and bone-chilling temperatures. In exchange, she delivered blistering sunshine with a toasty high temperature set for 92 degrees.
As early as 8 a.m., the onset of explosive heat was present in the conditions at Forest Oaks. With first tee times in the Prep division set for 11 a.m., the time set aside for preparation at the practice facilities was paired with extreme hydration to combat the feeling of an early-summer heat.
Along with the sweltering heat, the PKBGT’s North Carolina regional member’s came out firing, slicing and dicing the course in the best possible way. Battling the mental challenge of the season’s first high-heat tournament, the girls pushed through for a complete round of golf in Round One.
A sneak preview of what’s to come throughout the summer season – as the temperatures rise, the scores remain low!
Let’s take a look at where each division stands following the first round of play!
Tied atop the leaderboard of the 32 player Prep division, Alyssa Cox (Mount Airy, NC 2019) and Emily Brubaker (Raleigh, NC 2020) sit in first place after Saturday’s round in Greensboro!
Cox made the turn at two-under-par and kept her scorecard relatively clean on the back nine. Brubaker took the opposite approach, turning on the jets in her final nine with three birdies in a row to close out her round. Both players finished the round with scores of 73 (+1).
Just one stroke behind, currently in second place following the first round is Macie Burcham (Greensboro, NC 2020). Burcham ripped off a first-round score of 74 (+2) that included four birdies spread throughout the day. Competing in her hometown, Burcham looks to make a Sunday run for a chance to win the tournament!
Rounding out the Top Five, in a two-way tie for fourth place is Annabelle Jennings (Chesapeake, VA 2020) and Caroline Isaacson (Greensboro, NC 2020). Jennings slipped in three birdies throughout her round including the 18th hole.
Isaacson rode the magic of a four-leaf clover – discovered on the 12th hole which she proceeded to make eagle on, in addition to three birdies on the afternoon. Both players shot first-round scores of 75 (+3).
Jumping ahead of the competition after shooting a first-round score of 71 (-1), Ellen Yu (High Point, NC 2026) holds a five-stroke lead in the 30 player Futures division. Yu closed out her two-under-par front nine with three birdies in the last four holes. She added one more for an exclamation point on the 18th green to close out her Saturday round at Forest Oaks.
Tyla McAffity (Raleigh, NC 2021) sits in second place following the first round of play. She posted a score of 76 (+4) on Saturday, including eight pars in a row to close out her back nine.
In third place after shooting a 79 (+7) in the first round, Kinsley Smith (Raleigh, NC 2024) utilized a strong back nine to earn her way back into the hunt. Smith shot a two-over-par 38 on a final nine that featured a birdie on the 15th hole.
Closing the Top Five of the Futures division, Elli Flinchum (Summerfield, NC 2022) and Kristyn Page (King, NC 2023) are in a dead heat for fourth place. Each player finished the first round with a score of 81 (+9).
The weather was hot, but Gracie Song (Waxhaw, NC 2026) was on fire! Song finished Saturday’s first-round with a five-under-par 31 and a scorecard free on any mark above par. She made three birdies on the day and added an eagle at the par-five fourth hole as the cherry on top of a spectacular round.
Posting her own under-par round of 35 (-1), Jenna Kim (Raleigh, NC 2027) – sitting in second place heading into Sunday’s final round. Kim made two birdies in a row from the third to fourth hole and added another at the sixth hole.
Exiting Forest Oaks with an even-par score of 36, Elizabeth Sullivan (Atlanta, GA 2025) made two birdies in a row, topped off with an eagle on the par-four fifth hole! She sits in third place after the first round.
Leah Edwards (Greensboro, NC 2025) is currently in fourth place after posting a first-round score of 37 (+1). Edwards made three birdies on her afternoon.
The final Top Finisher after Saturday in Greensboro is Summer Carey (Manning, SC 2028). Carey is in fifth place in the Discovery division after posting a round of 38 (+2) that featured two birdies.
The temperatures are expected to climb higher than Saturday’s peak and the competition is certain to reach new levels of heat come Sunday’s final round. Who will come out atop the rest in the Prep division? Will Yu and Song hold on in the Futures and Discovery divisions, respectively? Tune into live scoring to find out!
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/.