The practice facilities appeared barren at the opening of check-in early Monday morning, quite the antithesis of the past two days at the Country Club of Salisbury. With the field at the 2019 PKBGT Open Championship cut down to 23 and 16 in the Bell National and Futures national divisions respectively, the plethora of PKBGT umbrellas dwindled down to a select few who performed well enough to make it to Monday’s final round.
For a third consecutive day, Mother Nature blessed the PKB championship event with a blissful shining sun and brilliant blue skies lined with the trails of airplanes flying high above. Despite the near-record temperatures on Memorial Day, a steady breeze throughout the duration of the final round kept conditions maintainable.
On the course, the Bell National field was blazing as several players finished in the red with under-par rounds. The 8:30 a.m. double-tee start sent players off of both holes one and ten, and left each featured group to close out on the opposite nine.
With kids splashing around the pool and families gathered in the lawn chairs surrounding Country Club of Salisbury’s swimming facilities, the atmosphere was undoubtedly electric as players completed a 54-hole weekend to the aroma of grilled burgers from the poolside patio.
Several ladies from the Class of 2019 bid adieu to the PKBGT, this Memorial Day weekend serving as the final event of their tour career. For others, this was just the first taste of the PKBGT experience, a warm welcome for a future with the tour.
After all was said and done, and 54 holes of golf completed, here is how the leaderboard panned out!
Talk about going out in style! Kendall Turner (Chesapeake, VA 2019) took home the 2019 PKBGT Open Championship title in her final event as a member of the PKBGT. Not only did she win the event, Turner set an Open Championship record with a three-day total score of 70, 70, 67 = 207! Turner painted her scorecard, and the top of the leaderboard, red with three days of under-par golf – closing out with an immaculate four-under-par final round performance to run away with the championship!
Finishing runner-up with an equally impressive final-round score of 67 (-4) was Kara Carter (Kingsport, TN 2021). One member described Carter’s final round as if she were “throwing darts” toward the green, rarely falling further than fifteen feet from the hole. Carter made five birdies in her final round, closing out the weekend with a three-day total score of 73, 73, 67 = 213 (E).
Emily Dunlap (Greenville, SC 2019) and Vynie Chen (Centreville, VA 2020) tied for third place with three-day total scores of 218 (+5). Dunlap finished with a three-day spread of 74, 73 and 71. Her even-par final round came at the hands of four birdies. Chen remained consistent all weekend, scoring 73, 73 and closing out with her tournament-best 72 in the final round.
Rounding out the Top Five in the Bell National field was Melissa Meng (Blacksburg, VA 2020). Meng finished the tournament with a three-day total score of 74, 72, 73 = 219 (+6). Meng made two birdies in her final round, both on the back nine en route to securing her fifth-place finish.
Breaking away in the final round for the 2019 PKBGT Open Championship win in the Futures National division was Ellen Yu (High Point, NC 2026). The victory is Yu’s second in as many weeks after she took home the trophy in last weekend’s Gate City Classic. The difference on Memorial Day Weekend: this was a 54-hole major championship event! She finished with a three-day total score of 71, 75, 75 = 221 (+8).
Madison Messimer (Myrtle Beach, SC 2025) finished runner-up with a three-day total score of 75, 76, 74 = 225 (+12). Messimer remained consistent throughout the weekend, saving her best performance for the final round. In doing so, she catapulted to a second place finish in Salisbury!
Finishing in third place with a three-day total score of 70, 75, 81 = 226 (+13) was Grace Ridenour (Cary, NC 2025). Ridenour jumped out to a hot start in the first round, posting an under-par score on Saturday. She continued to battle throughout the weekend, ultimately falling short of her chase for the championship title. Despite a few bumps in the road, Ridenour held on for another top finish in her impressive 2019 season.
Bouncing back in her final round, earning a fourth-place finish was Amelia Cho (Ashburn, VA 2024). Cho finished with a three-day total score of 74, 81, 75 = 230 (+17). She started off strong with an even-par front nine, setting the pace for a final round where she climbed back into the Top Five of the leaderboard.
Closing out the Top Finishers at the 2019 PKBGT Open Championship, in a two-way tie for fifth place were Josephine Nguyen (Springfield, VA 2024) and Sophie Lauture (Raleigh, NC 2024). Both players finished with three-day total scores of 231 (+18).
Lauture improved by one stroke per round and finished with scores of 78, 77, and 76. Nguyen finished with scores of 78, 76, and 77.
We would like to thank the entire staff at the Country Club of Salisbury for their incredible hospitality over the three-day weekend, serving as host for yet another PKBGT Open Championships! The weather was steaming and the action on the course certainly matched the conditions. Congratulations to all of our top finishers this Memorial Day weekend!
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/.