Roars of rumbling thunder shook the foundation of the greater Myrtle Beach area on Friday evening. Booming cracks played the soundtrack to a spectacular show of flashing lights in the pitch dark nighttime sky as the same storm system – which created a memorable image on the 18th hole at the U.S. Women’s Open in Charleston – swept through the Coastal Carolina region.
For a course deprived of any rainfall for over 20 days, the much-needed late-night downpour seeped into the ground, absorbed like a sponge desperately trying to quench its relentless thirst. The Peggy Kirk Bell Girls’ Golf Tour was set for a 1:45 p.m. shotgun start at the 2019 PKBGT Coastal Carolina Classic and the overnight precipitation groomed the course to be in pristine condition for Saturday’s first round.
Along with the course nourishment, Friday evening’s storms swept away the suffocating humidity of the past few days. Saturday’s brilliant blue skies and pleasant coastal breeze paired well with the melodic chatter of birds chirping back-and-forth across the premises.
On the practice putting green and driving range, 46 tour members simultaneously shared the space in preparation for an all-out blitz with the shotgun start. Nestled on the edge of Coastal Carolina University, the Hackler Course presented a Division I level challenge to the entire field.
Following an afternoon in the Coastal Carolina sunshine and the completion of the first round, let’s take a look at the leaderboard!
Locked in a dead heat for first place, posting first-round scores of 71 (-1) is Adrian Anderson (Murrels Inlet, SC 2022) and Napat Rattanaprakarn (Kenly, NC 2020). Anderson found her best success on the back nine, posting back-to-back birdies on holes 15 and 16. Rattanaprakarn also took advantage of the back nine, posting three birdies in that span.
Three strokes behind the leaders of the 21 player Bell National field, Emma Landis (Virginia Beach, VA 202) is currently in third place after the first round of play. Landis, in a similar fashion, found great success on the back nine. She made three of her four birdies on the afternoon in that portion of her round.
Rounding out the Top Five in a five-way tie for fourth place is Macie Burcham (Greensboro, NC 2021), Autumn Carey (Manning, SC 2022), Mia Gray (Conway, SC 2023), Lexi Bennett (Santee, SC 2021) and Isabella Britt (Chesnee, SC 2021). All five girls posted scores of 75 (+3) in the first round.
Holding down the fort in the 24 player Futures National field after the first round in McKenzie Daffin (Fayetteville, NC 2021). Daffin posted a score of 71 (-1) on Saturday afternoon. She turned on the back nine by making two birdies in a row on holes 17 and 18.
In second place, after posting a first-round score of 74 (+2), is Ellie Hildreth (Wilmington, NC 2025). Hildreth capitalized on the back nine, like many others on Saturday afternoon, posting a one-under-par 35 with one birdie.
Tied for third place after posting scores of 77 (+5) is Leah Edwards (Greensboro, NC 2025) and Sophie Lauture (Raleigh, NC 2024). Edwards remained even-keel throughout the round, posting a one-over par 37 on the front nine. Lauture made two birdies in her round.
Closing out the Top Finishers, in fifth place with a score of 78 (+6) on Saturday, is McKayla Daffin (Fayetteville, NC 2021). Daffin spread three birdies throughout her first round including two on the front nine.
With one round left to play, the tournament is still up for the taking in both divisions! Who will come out on top in the Bell National division? Will Daffin hold on in the Futures National division or will the field surge? Stay tuned to live scoring throughout the final round to stay up to date!
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/.