When you think of Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, Messi, Federer, one word can describe them all- DOMINANT. That same characteristic matches the storied junior golf career of Amanda Sambach (Davidson, NC 2021) who picked up her sixteenth PKBGT National Series title and nineteenth overall PKBGT win at the inaugural Katherine Perry-Hamski Tradition at UNC Finley Golf Course over the weekend.
Sambach had some work to do on Sunday to hoist the crystal trailing by five shots to the overnight leader Lexanne Halama (Knoxville, TN 2021), who fired a flawless bogey-free round of 65 (-7) on Saturday. The Illinois Women’s Golf commit held onto the lead throughout the final round until the seventeenth hole. Sambach turned up the heat on the par-five sixth and followed with two more birdies on seven and eight to creep within one of the lead. The UVA Women’s Golf Signee didn’t stop there, making birdies on the tenth, thirteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth to stay within range of Halama. Walking down the eighteenth fairway, Sambach was in prime position to win outright, but the wind carried her approach shot into the greenside bunker. Sambach’s only bogey all day brought Halama into a tie at (-8) for the tournament. Amanda striped one down the middle on the tenth on the first playoff hole and knocked a wedge within six feet of the cup. After contact, there was no question that her birdie putt would find the back of the cup to win the title.
Arguably the best weather in weeks proved to be a difference-maker at the Katherine Perry-Hamski Tradition at UNC Finley Golf Course. The tournament host and Linville Cup captain must have shared her wealth of knowledge with her team during the 3-day leadership team challenge at Mid Pines in January because the lone players to shoot a red number in the Prep division came from Katherine Perry-Hamski’s Team NC East. Emerson Dever (Durham, NC 2025) shot her fourth round of under par in the last six weeks, taking a one-shot lead heading into the final round. The reigning Orange Whip Classic champion did not have the same luck on Sunday, giving up the lead to 2020 Storie Apparel Prep Order of Merit Champion Tyler Spriggs (Cary, NC 2023), who eventually hoisted the crystal and a six-shot victory. The Cary native followed her round of 71 (-1) on Saturday with a score of 72 (E) on Sunday.
Arguably the round of the weekend came from the Futures National field at Finley Golf Course. Yvette O’Brien (Greenwich, CT 2025) on Sunday. O’Brien began the day seven shots off the lead. By the end of the day, Yvette was tied atop the leaderboard, thanks to her bogey-free final round 66 (-6). After the round, Yvette ran to her father, Dan, for a celebratory embrace. Dan said after the round that it was Yvette’s career-best by a lot. Although the youngster Ella June Hannant (Pikeville, NC 2027) defeated O’Brien in the playoff for the Futures National title, there was still so much to celebrate for the Greenwich, CT native.
Hannant started the final round three shots back of the overnight leader Rachel Joyce (Southern Pines, NC 2026). Much like we’ve seen from the Pikeville, NC native all season since she moved up to the Futures National division, she took care of business making five birdies, including three on her back-nine on Sunday. Ella June extends her hold of the Futures National Order of Merit with her win as we head into the Spring Championship events.