Two of the PKBGT’s Regional Series have already concluded for the 2019 season and the remaining four winds down to a close in the coming weeks. With the official transition from Summer to Fall just around the corner, the PKBGT hosts two Regional Finales this weekend.
These PKBGT regional events offer innovative yardage-based divisions to girls aged 9-17. The PKBGT Series Progression allows players to progress towards playing collegiate golf by playing yardage/skill appropriate tournaments as they develop their game.
A season which began in epic fashion at the University of Georgia Golf Course, the 2019 PKBGT Southeast Series concludes with the grand two-day finale in Easley, South Carolina at Smithfields Country Club.
Seven one-day events took place across South Carolina and into Georgia, and players took their swing at a top spot on the PKBGT Southeast Series Order of Merit rankings – presented by Storie Apparel – over the span of five months. Though they will serve as the final days of summer, technically, temperatures in Easley will climb toward 90 degrees this weekend.
Along with the stifling conditions, competitors will arrive at Smithfields Country Club with a fierce mentality – ready to battle it out and improve their spot on the Southeast OOM.
What’s at stake?
Along with the coveted OOM honors, the 2019 Southeast Series Prep and Futures champions will earn their spot in the 2019 PKBGT Tournament of Champions. But wait, there’s more! Both players will have the opportunity to compete in the inaugural PKBGT Regional Invitational, to be held at Carolina National Golf Club in Bolivia, NC.
At Carolina National, players will be recognized for their 2019 Southeast Series OOM championships at the Regional Invitational banquet. More importantly, Prep Division players will have the chance to earn an exemption into the PKBGT Invitational at Bermuda Run Country Club in November.
For Discovery players there lies a chance to qualify for the prestigious Discovery Invitational played on Hilton Head Island this November. The top 33% of the Southeast Discovery Order of Merit will earn their spot in addition to all event champions.
The stage is set and the field is prepared to embark on one final 36-hole journey around Smithfields Country Club. Let’s dive into the current Southeast Series OOM standings to see who can make a charge at this weekend’s series finale!
Sitting pretty in first place on the Southeast Prep Order of Merit, Sydney Bowes (Bluffington, SC 2021) hopes to hold on to the top spot in the rankings. Bowes found her stride at Spring Valley Country Club in early-August where she took the championship trophy. Though she will not be competing in the Series Finale, Bowes’ victory may still be enough to crown her OOM champion for the 2019 season.
Currently in second place, also with a first-place finish on her resume, Taylor Burch (Elgin, SC 2021) is in a similar position to Bowes at first. Burch will not be competing in this weekend’s event, so she will hope that her win at the Members Club at Wildewood is enough to finish runner-up.
Entering this weekend’s event as the top-ranked player in the field, Makenzie Norwood (Kiawah, SC 2022) looks to make a push and improve her OOM standing. Norwood found her best success at the Country Club of Spartanburg where she brought home the victory! With a cogent performance in Easley, Norwood could charge forward in the standings.
Along with Bowes and Burch, Ashley Looper (Marietta, SC 2019) will not compete in the series finale. Looper currently sits in fourth place and has a win at the season-opening Junior Collegiate Showcase.
Closing off the Prep Division top five, Abby Franks (Roebuck, SC 2023) and Cindy Song (Waxhaw, NC 2023) are in a tie for fifth place on the Prep OOM. Song won her lone Southeast Series competition at the Blythewood Country Club, but will not compete in this weekend’s finale. Franks has two top-three finishes on the season and will be fueled to achieve her first win at Smithfields Country Club.
With an extensive list of top finishes this season, Allison Lebo (North Augusta, SC 2022) heads into the weekend in first place in the Southeast Futures OOM. Lebo’s top performance came in the form of victory at the Carolina Country Club and she has three top-five finishes in addition.
Alexis Hodge (Lexington, SC 2022) took a stroll on victory lane at Spring Valley Country Club back in August. Along with the win, Hodge took a tie for third place at Cobbs Glen and currently holds second place in the Southeast Futures OOM. She will compete in Easley this weekend, though she will be in the Prep field so she cannot improve her Futures OOM standing any further.
In third place on the Southeast Futures OOM, Delia Parker (Greer, SC 2021) tasted the sweetness of a top-five finish on several occasions in 2019. Parker’s peak performance was a third-place finish at the Carolina Country Club. If she can top that in Easley, Parker will likely improve her spot in the rankings.
With two T5 finishes and a season-best third-place performance at the Country Club of Spartanburg, Madilyn Saxton (Guyton, GA 2025) holds on to fourth place in the Southeast Futures OOM. Saxton will compete at Smithfields Country Club in an attempt to boost her current ranking and close out the season on a high note.
Much like the Prep division, there is a two-way tie for fifth place in the Southeast Futures OOM. Hanna Grace McCoy (Columbia, SC 2021) and Alyssa Waddell (Greer, SC 2020) each scored a win on the 2019, though neither player will compete in this weekend’s event.
Squaring up for an invitation to the 2019 PKBGT Discovery Invitational in Hilton Head Island, Gracie Song (Waxhaw, NC 2026) currently leads the Southeast Discovery OOM. Song took home first-place trophies at the Country Club of Spartanburg and the Blythewood Country Club. She will not compete in this weekend’s series finale.
Therefore, Landry Hamm (Charlotte, NC 2027) will enter Smithfields Country Club as the top-ranked player in the field. Hamm holds second place in the Southeast Discovery OOM after winning the event at the Carolina Country Club. She earned two third-place finishes throughout the season and aims to charge toward the top of the leaderboard in Easley to gain ground on Song.
Sitting in third place currently is Caroline Hawkins (Columbia, SC 2026) after winning at the Members Club at Wildewood. Hawkins also has a runner-up finish at the Blythewood Country Club but will not compete in this weekend’s event.
Rounding out the top five in the Southeast Discovery OOM, in a two-way tie for fifth place, is Kellyn Arnold (Charlotte, NC 2025) and Addisyn Newman (Knoxville, TN 2028). Both players have two top-five finishes on the season. Newman will compete at the event this weekend while Arnold will not.
We would like to wish all of our competitors the best of luck in this weekend’s Southeast Series Finale! With 36 holes left to prove themselves, there is certain to be a number of determined players gracing the course with impressive skill and competition!
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/.