On Friday, July 19, the Peggy Kirk Bell Girls’ Golf Tour played the 2019 PKBGT Precision Girls’ Championship at Bryan Park Golf Course (Champions) in Greensboro, NC.
Rays of sun peered through the tree-lined driveway leading into Bryan Park Golf Course. The light highlighted a thick haze, just a preview of the stagnant air to come in the first round of the PKBGT Precision Girls’ Championship.
A scenic Lake Townsend set the backdrop to the final stretch, a challenging back nine to close out a strenuous afternoon on the Champions Course. The field of 51 competitors was battle-tested, from stifling heat to tricky greens and tight fairways.
PKBGT and Precision Golf School headquarters hosted Friday’s first round of the 17th annual PKBGT Precision Girls’ Championship, presented by Precision Golf School. At 10 a.m., the first ping of a driver resonated through the fairways and across the lake. From there, the PKBGT took over Bryan Park, matching Mother Natures boiling temperatures with red hot play on the course.
The tournament remains up for grabs in both the Bell National and Futures National divisions. With one round left to make a surge, let’s take a look at where the leaderboard stands following the first round of play!
Lighting up the Bell National leaderboard with an under-par performance, Jacyln Kenzl (Southern Pines, NC 2020) jumped out to an early two-stroke lead on Friday. Kenzl kickstarted her 70 (-2) with a two-under-par 34 on the front nine. She tacked on two more birdies on an even-par back nine, holding on to the top spot entering Saturday’s final round.
In a tie for second place, Molly Hardwick (Lexington, SC 2022) and Kiera Bartholomew (Westampton, NJ 2023) each posted even-par 72 first-round scores. Hardwick posted three birdies on the afternoon and finished strong, hoping to ride the momentum a one-under-par 35 back nine into her final round. Bartholomew kept a clean scorecard throughout her round and made four birdies.
Rounding out the Bell National top five, in a two-way tie for fourth place is Maria Atwood (Holly Springs, NC 2022) and Autumn Carey (Manning, SC 2022). Both players finished Friday’s round with scores 73 (+1). Atwood found her form on the back nine with a one-under-par 35. Carey took the opposite approach, roaring out of the gates with a one-under-par 35 of her own on the front nine.
Grabbing on to the first-round lead in the Futures National division, McKayla Daffin (Fayetteville, NC 2021) caught fire on an even-par back nine, finishing the afternoon with a 75 (+3). She dropped three birdies on the afternoon and looks to make that a regular occurrence in the final round.
Hope Garcia (Suffolk, VA 2023) joined Daffin with an even-par back nine, finishing one stroke behind the leader in second place. Garcia’s 76 (+4) came on behalf of two birdies, both drained along her final stretch of play.
Right in the thick of things, Grace Ridenour (Cary, NC 2025) departed Bryan Park just two strokes back of the leader in third place after posting a 77 (+5) on Friday. Ridenour made two birdies in her round and looks to shake off the few bumps she experienced on the final stretch of her first-round and rally to the top of the leaderboard on Saturday.
Hanging just behind, Ellen Yu (High Point, NC 2026) currently holds on to fourth place on the leaderboard after a first-round 78 (+6). Yu, like Ridenour, experienced a rough finish on Friday afternoon but performed well enough to compete for a top spot in the final round. She made two birdies and an eagle throughout her round.
Closing out the top five of the Futures National division, Sophie Lauture (Raleigh, NC 2024) and Ellie Hildreth (Wilmington, NC 2025) are tied for fifth place with one round to play. Both girls finished Friday with scores of 79 (+7).
Tee times for Saturday’s final round commence early in the morning, though the sun is sure to be stifling for the second day in a row. The tight race in both divisions promises for an exciting finish and another chance for scores to match the atmosphere’s intensity. Will Kenzl match her first-round fire? Who will pull away in the jam-packed Futures National leaderboard? Follow live scoring at the link below 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/.