We are eight days away from the most prestigious event on the year-long PKBGT circuit: the 15th PKBGT Invitational. The PKBGT Invitational is a 54-hole championship event played on both the east and west courses of Bermuda Run Country Club in Advance, North Carolina outside Winston-Salem – with layouts of over 6100 yards at each venue. With players from 18 states – let’s take a look inside this year’s field of 66 at the 2023 PKBGT Invitational!
Strength of Field in a Class by Itself
The PKBGT Invitational is perennially top 25 ranked tournament in the country as ranked by Golfweek Junior Golf Rankings. While this event typically boasts a strong field, the 15th playing of the Invitational will feature one of its highest-ranked fields yet, with 58 players inside the Top 1,000 on Junior Golf Scoreboard national rankings. Even more notable, 29 of these players rank inside the top 500, and 9 inside the top 250. making the average player in the field ranked 494 in the country.
History? We Have History! Past Champions achieve great heights
12 different ladies have raised the championship bowl at the PKBGT Invitational in its 14 year history (View the Event History). Inaugural Invitational champion Katherine Perry Hamski played professionally on the LPGA Tour and now is the assistant coach at her alma mater, UNC-Chapel Hill. 2011 & 2012 champion Lucia Polo and 2013 champion Anna Redding are members of the LPGA Epson Tour. The Wake Forest University duo of 2014 champion Emilia Migliaccio and 2015 champion Rachel Kuehn are two of the top amateur players in the world and helped lead the Demon Deacons to a National Championship last season. 2022 champion Macy Pate joined Rachel at Wake Forest this year to help on the quest for a repeat championship. 2017 & 2019 champion Amanda Sambach who is a junior at the University of Virginia and 2018 champion Anna Morgan, who is staring at Furman University have been named to the Annika Award watch list which is awarded to the best women’s collegiate player in the nation. These are just a few of the impressive accolades of our past Invitational champions! We’re excited to watch these ladies as they continue their success at the higher levels!
A New Shine in 2023:
We’re excited to introduce the new PKBGT Invitational trophy! The silver trophy proudly displays the championship logo and lists the past Invitational champions. Each champion will have their name etched into history alongside the already superb list of champions. The champion will receive a slightly smaller version of the trophy to take home and display in their trophy case! The PKBGT is looking forward to this new tradition connecting the tours past to the present!
Order of Merit Champs in the Field:
At each PKBGT event players earn season-long Order of Merit points based on their performance with events being weighted based on strength, size, and classification of the tournament. Through the standings, players are invited to the season-ending PKBGT Tour Championship at Pine Needles where the Order of Merit champion is decided for the season in each division. All of the 2023 Order of Merit Champions will be in the field next week at the PKBGT Invitational and aim to add another impressive title to their resume.
Emerson B. Dever (Durham, NC 2025) won the Bell National Order of Merit title due to her season-long excellent play in championship events. Dever’s had several close calls last season with runner-up finishes at the Katherine Perry Hamski Tradition, Precision Jr Girls Championship, and PKBGT Tour Championship. Dever will be making her second Invitational appearance this season as she begins her quest for back-to-back Order of Merit titles.
Riley Grimm (Pinehurst, NC 2028) ran away with the Prep Preview Order of Merit last season with her three run-away victories at the 10th National Tournament of Champions, PKBGT Masters, and PKBGT Open Championship. Grimm will be making her second Invitational appearance following an impressive top-10 last year as one of the youngest players in the field.
Ira Joshi (Pinehurst, NC 2029) clinched the Futures National Order of Merit with her win at the PKBGT Tour Championship. It was her fourth win on the Futures National series in 2023 to go along with her victories at the Eastern NC Girls Classic, Katherine Perry Hamski Tradition, and the Queen City Girls Classic. This will be Joshi’s first Invitational appearance.
The Best of the Best:
The 15th PKBGT Invitational has a star-studded field leading the pack are three players ranked inside the top 125 in the country by Junior Golf Scoreboard. Jenna Kim (Raleigh, NC 2027) comes into the Invitational as the highest ranked player in the field ranked at 94 on Junior Golf Scoreboard and second on PKBGT’s Performance Index rankings. Kim has already had impressive victories at the PKBGT Masters in 2023 and the 2022 Precision Jr. Girls Championship.
UNC commit Ellen Yu (Greensboro, NC 2025) has finished in the top-6 at the last three PKBGT Invitationals including a runner-up last year. The 113th ranked player in the country hopes an interesting trend at the Invitational continues this year. Three of the past four champions won the year after a runner-up finish. Yu will look to make it the third in a row at Bermuda Run next weekend.
Elsie MacCleery (Crozet, VA 2025) earned a signature win at last years National Tournament of Champions coming from behind to win. The future Virginia Cavalier is ranked 124th in the nation and with a win would join Anna Redding and Amanda Sambach as Invitational champions to go on to play collegiately at Virginia.
Highest Ranked Players
In addition to our featured players, 8 additional players in the field are currently ranked inside the top 300 players in the country by the Junior Golf Scoreboard. They are:
- Hailey Han (Duluth, GA 2025) — 189
- Macie Rasmussen (Chesapeake, VA 2027) — 197
- Maria Isabella Errichetto (Southern Pines, NC 2027) — 213
- Vidhi Lakhawala (Kendall Park, NJ 2026) — 220
- Camryn Coffield (Hamilton, GA 2026) — 231
- Grace Ridenour (Raleigh, NC 2025) — 237
- Martha Kuwahara (Northbrook, IL 2026) — 265
- Isabel Brozena (North Reading, IL 2026) — 281
Verballed, Sealed, Delivered
14 players in the 15th Invitational field have verbally committed to play collegiate golf:
- Isabel Brozena — Xavier University
- Annalee Caveney — Western Carolina University
- Savannah Cherry — High Point University
- Emerson B. Dever — UNC Chapel Hill
- Addie Doroh — Richmond University
- Reagan Folk — Western Kentucky University
- Hailey Han — University of Georgia
- Sophie Lauture — UNC Greensboro
- Madison Lehr — Western Carolina University
- Sarah Lydic — Wake Forest University
- Elsie MacCleery — University of Virginia
- Grace Ridenour — UNC Chapel Hill
- Karsyn Roberts — East Carolina University
- Ellen Yu — UNC Chapel Hill
Follow the Action…
The first round of the 13th PKBGT Invitational, begins Saturday, November 4th, on Bermuda Run Country Club’s West course. We look forward to a great event!