On Wednesday afternoon, just prior to 3:30 p.m., two familiar faces were on display – side by side- at the heart of Golf Channel’s coverage for the 2019 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships. Long-time supporters of the Peggy Kirk Bell Girls’ Golf Tour were phased by a momentary state of deja vu.
Gina Kim (PKBGT Class of 2018) and Emilia Migliaccio (PKBGT Class of 2017) went about their normal warmup routines at the practice facilities in Fayetteville, AR, business as usual. Only, this was far from usual. Typically a solitary activity, their sessions at the range on Wednesday were broadcast over national television in a double-box graphic for the public’s viewing pleasure.
Those closest to the PKBGT and familiar with the tour’s history thought to themselves, “I swear I’ve seen this before.” They weren’t wrong. Just three years prior, the duo was in the final chapter of a three-year battle at the PKBGT’s Tar Heel Classic.
A pair of junior girls’ golfers whose careers began on the PKBGT now represented their respective team at the highest level of collegiate competitive golf. Match 4 of the 2019 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship dubbed “The PKBGT Showdown”, two prime examples of the tour’s mission at the forefront of United States Golf.
Ironically, the two who took part in the unforgettable contests at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s home course now defended the championship hopes of the Tar Heel’s interstate rivals: Wake Forest University and Duke University.
The PKBGT Showdown
Kim held bragging rights entering the match having defeated Migliaccio in the final two Tar Heel Classics, standing 2-1 in the three years they topped the leaderboard. Teeing off at 3:30 p.m., Miggliaccio took control on the front nine, making the turn 2-up on Kim.
Refusing to give in, Kim battled back to even the contest as they walked to the tee box on the 18th hole. Migliaccio birdied the final hole to go 1-up on Kim and take Match 4 in the Demon Deacons’ favor.
Despite the head-to-head victory, Kim and the Blue Devils defeated the Demon Deacons, taking home the program’s seventh national championship since 2002!
PKBGT’s Prominence in College Golf
No matter who currently possesses an advantage in the “rivalry”, both PKBGT alumni have reason to hold their heads high. Both girls were broadcast on the sport’s largest television network, competing for a national championship and representing women in golf.
Migliaccio’s monumental success
Though her team fell short of the title, Migliaccio won a match on college golf’s greatest stage. Her victory in Arkansas was the exclamation point to a stellar sophomore campaign. She brought home three individual tournament wins on the 2018-19 season, sporting a 71.00 scoring average in 10 events.
A strong follow-up to the historic 2017-18 season where her 71.79 scoring average set a Wake Forest freshman record and was the third-lowest in school history. That average led to ACC Freshman of the Year honors, All-ACC honors and a second-team WGCA All-American selection.
While Migliaccio stood out on the course, her brightest accomplishments came in the classroom. She was named a WCGA All-American Scholar, an academic All-ACC athlete and landed on the ACC Honor Roll. In between her first two seasons of success, the former PKBGT Invitational champion returned to the event as a guest speaker at the Inspire. Dream. Achieve. Banquet for the 10th anniversary, providing insight and advice to current tour members.
Kim: a freshman phenom
Kim closed out her freshman season in style, reaching the pinnacle of college golf in her first go-around. In her one year in Durham, Kim won her first college tournament at the Landfall Tradition in November. She placed fifth at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate and sixth at the NCAA Auburn Regional before taking part in the competition in Arkansas.
A friendly “rivalry”
Though they duke it out on the course, Kim and Migliaccio are no stranger to one another. Both represented the United States on the 2016 Junior Ryder Cup and 2017 Junior Solheim Cup teams. In 2016, they also shared First-Team Rolex Junior All-American honors. Last spring, both PKBTG alumni competed in the 73rd U.S. Women’s Open at Shoal Creek.
The PKBGT would like to congratulate both Migliaccio and Kim on their outstanding 2018-19 seasons! We look forward to the next chapter in their battle!
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/.