Athens, GA- The Peggy Kirk Bell Girls’ Golf Tour opened its championship season at the ROCKET TOUR PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP at the University of Georgia Golf Club over the weekend. The ninth edition of the Players Championship was contested on the same course as the annual Liz Murphy Collegiate, one of the strongest fields in college women’s golf every year. A record thirteen states will be in the field.
1443 days have passed since Sara Im (Duluth, GA 2023) hoisted a trophy on the PKB Girls Tour. Since the Tiger Classic victory on February 25, 2017, the 4th ranked player on the PKB Performance Index has recorded eight runner-up finishes. The counter was finally reset yesterday evening after Im captured the 2021 ROCKET TOUR PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP by a shot. The Duluth, GA native held the overnight lead after her round of 72 (E) to open play at the UGA Golf Course on a cold and wet Saturday. Im recorded four birdies on Saturday. Sara didn’t have much luck in that category on Sunday, making sixteen pars and two bogeys to cap off her return to glory with a final round 74 (+2).
Im held off a charging duo of Peach State natives who were five shots off the leader after Saturday. Thienna Huynh (Lilburn, GA 2022) and Ava Merrill (Johns Creek, GA 2023) rolled the flatstick with authority on Sunday, firing rounds of 69 (-3) to surge up the leaderboard. Merrill ended up taking the scorecard playoff for second place with a par on the fifteenth hole. Rounding out the top five were Kyndall Shamblin (Cleveland, TN 2022) at fourth and Elizabeth Rudisill (Charlotte, NC 2025) at fifth. Rudisill’s final round score of 71 (-1) helped boost her Bell National Order of Merit ranking to #8 in the standings.
1. Sara Im (Duluth, GA 2023) / 72 / 74 = 146 (+2)
2. Ava Merrill (Johns Creek, GA 2023) / 78 / 69 = 147 (+3)*
3. Thienna Huynh (Lilburn, GA 2022) / 78 / 69 = 147 (+3)
4. Kyndall Shamblin (Cleveland, TN 2022) / 75 / 75 =150 (+6)
5. Elizabeth Rudisll (Charlotte, NC 2025) / 82 / 71 = 153 (+9)
*Denotes Scorecard Playoff*
Macy Johnson (Salem, VA 2023) was Ms. Consistent on the damp UGA Golf Course, firing consecutive rounds of 77 (+5) to claim her first 2-day PKB Girls’ Tour Title at the ROCKET TOUR PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP. Johnson began the final round chasing Emerson Dever (Durham, NC 2025), the reigning ROCKET TOUR PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP Futures National champion. Dever opened up play at the UGA Golf Course with a round of 75 (+3).
Thru 27 holes, Johnson held a two-shot lead, thanks to her opening nine score of 38 (+1). The overnight leader retook the lead on the tenth hole after Johnson, who was in the group ahead of Dever, doubled. Back and forth, the two went trading the lead until their final three holes. Johnson finished her round with a double-bogey opening the door for Dever. All Emerson needed to do was par the tricky ninth. Dever ended with a bogey sending the duo into a sudden-death playoff. Unlike the previous year, Dever would not walk away victoriously. Rounding out the top five were Shyla Brown (Matthews, NC 2026) and Caroline Hawkins (Columbia, SC 2026), who finished tied for third, and Garland Gould (Raleigh, NC 2024), who finished fifth.
1. Macy Johnson (Salem, VA 2023) / 77 / 77 = 154 (+10)^
2. Emerson Dever (Durham, NC 2025) / 75 / 79 = 154 (+10)
T3. Shyla Brown (Matthews, NC 2026) / 78 / 78 = 156 (+12)
T3. Caroline Hawkins (Columbia, SC 2026) / 79 / 77 = 156 (+12)
5. Garland Gould (Raleigh, NC 2024) / 77 / 80 = 157 (+13)
^Denotes Playoff Victory^
No matter who walked away with the title on Sunday afternoon, it would be their first National Series victory on the PKB Girls’ Tour. When it was all said and done, another Georgia native joined Sara Im as champions of the only PKBGT Major Championship event hosted in their home state. Elizabeth Sullivan (Atlanta, GA 2025), runner-up of the Atlanta Girls Classic at Stone Mountain, jumped the board and ran away with the Futures National title thanks to her final round of 75 (+3), the lowest score in the division by six strokes.
Tatum Thompson (Marietta, GA 2023) held a two-shot overnight lead on the field after her opening round 81. At one point during the final round, five players had a decent shot at the title. However, that diminished rather quickly thanks to Sullivan’s great work, going out in 36 and in at 39 to shoot her best round of the year. Thompson finished with the silver as she followed her opening round 81 with an identical score on Sunday. Rounding out the top five was Yvette O’Brien (Greenwich, CT 2025) in third, Mary Elizabeth Harrison (Cary, NC 2025) in fourth, and Pearl Hughes (Dawsonville, GA 2027) in fifth.
1. Elizabeth Sullivan (Altanta, GA 2025) / 83 / 75 = 158 (+14)
2. Tatum Thompson (Marietta, GA 2023) / 81 / 81 = 162 (+18)
3. Yvette O’Brien (Greenwich, CT 2025) / 84 / 86 = 170 (+26)
4. Mary Elizabeth Harrison (Cary, NC 2025) / 89 / 82 = 171 (+27)
5. Pearl Hughes (Dawsonville, GA 2027) / 85 / 89 = 174 (+30)
View Full Scoreboard
The Peggy Kirk Bell Girls Golf Tour travels south once again for the Palmetto Classic at Pawleys Plantation Golf Club this weekend.
Founded in 2007 by Girls Golf of America, a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization, 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 2020 season will feature over 110 tournaments in 9 states on the East Coast, and with over 1,000 members, the PKBGT is the largest girl’s only Tour in the country. Learn more about the PKBGT at http://www.pkbgt.org/.
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