The Peggy Kirk Bell Girls’ Golf Tour engulfed the Carolinas for a special qualifier weekend! Plans to separate and hold two events on Saturday, one in North Carolina and the other in South Carolina, were foiled by Mother Nature’s flooding rain on Friday. The scheduled event at Siler City was put on hold while in South Carolina, the show went on as planned at Green Valley Country Club in Greenville, SC. A swift change of scenery and thanks to the flexibility of the club, North Carolina’s event was rescheduled for a sunny Monday afternoon at Carolina Trace Country Club. After the long weekend, we hop into this edition of The PKBGT Weekend Review!

The ultimate prize

A pair of qualifying events this past weekend were the final two opportunities for girls to earn an exemption into the 14th playing of the Carolinas Golf Association’s Vicki DiSantis Girls Championship. The event, named after long-time CGA and PKBGT girls’ golf supporter Vicki DiSantis, takes place on May 11-12, 2019 at Pine Island Country Club in Charlotte, NC.

The championship is one of the most prestigious girls’ golf events in the Carolinas – drawing a field comprised of the top-ranked girls’ golf talent in North Carolina and South Carolina annually. With a rich history of PKB top finishers, the CGA and PKB joined forces in 2018 – presenting two regional qualifiers as an additional opportunity to earn a spot in the event.

In the second year of the partnership, the duo handed out 27 exemptions over the weekend, granting the girls a spot in this year’s Vicki DiSantis Girls’ Championship!

Learn more about the history of the Vicki DiSantis Girls Championship HERE!

2019 CGA/PKBGT Vicki DiSantis Qualifier at Green Valley Country Club

On Friday afternoon, the Carolinas were on high alert with multiple severe storms surging through the states. Heavy downpours and high winds drenched courses around the region. Those in the Greenville region and surrounding areas of South Carolina wondered if they would have the chance to take the course and compete for a spot in the CGA’s prestigious girls’ championship.

Fortunately – aside from a soggy early morning – the course at Green Valley Country Club was deemed playable and the event continued as scheduled. With any doubt of playing erased from the minds of competitors and their parents, the field of 45 locked in and prepared for the 18 holes of opportunity ahead. Separating the girls’ from an exemption into the mid-May championship event – one complete round of golf. At the conclusion of the 2019 CGA/PKBGT Vicki DiSantis Qualifier at Green Valley Country Club, 13 girls drove out of Greenville with a spot in the Vicki DiSantis Girls Championship.

Lee-ving with an exemption and more

Katelyn Lee (Easley, SC 2020) arrived at Green Valley Country Club with one goal in mind on Saturday morning: earn a spot in the CGA’s championship event. As she made the turn, Lee held a commanding lead after a two-under-par 34 on a front nine that featured three birdies. With four holes to play, sitting at four-under-par on the afternoon, she all but locked in her exemption and achieved what she set out to accomplish on the day.

With a chance to leave Greenville with more than an exemption into the championship, Lee briefly gravitated back to earth through her feet didn’t quite touchdown at the surface. Her return to even-par was more than enough to remain atop the leaderboard, winning the 2019 CGA/PKBGT Vicki DiSantis Qualifier at Green Valley Country Club in doing so! Lee finished the afternoon with a final score of 72 (E) and returned home with an exemption – and the PKBGT champion’s medal of honor.

Twelve tested competitors secure their spot

Lee won first place honors, but without Cindy Song (Charlotte, NC 2023) breathing down her neck. Song finished just one shot behind Lee, earning runner-up honors with a score of 73 (+1), and a spot in the CGA championship. Take a look at the list of players who joined Lee and Song in securing their exemption to the Vicki DiSantis Girls Championship:

3. Madison Logan (Brasstown, NC 2022)

4. Emily Song (Charlotte, NC 2019)

5. Gabriela Cruz (High Point, NC 2021)

T6. Ashley Looper (Marietta, SC 2019)

T6. Madison Lynn Dixon (Inman, SC 2023)

T8. Sydney Roberts (Chesnee, SC 2022)

T8. Abby Franks (Roebuck, SC 2023)

T8. Katelyn David (Waxhaw, NC 2019)

T8. Elizabeth Lohbauer (Huntersville, NC 2021)

T12. Nicole Nash (Charlotte, NC 2023)

T12. Hailey Pendleton (Waxhaw, NC 2020)

Catch up on all the excitement from Saturday’s round with the event recap HERE!

2019 CGA/PKBGT Vicki DiSantis Qualifier at Carolina Trace Country Club

The same storms that caused concern in the minds of the Green Valley participants unleashed their wrath on Siler City Country Club, forcing the postponement of Saturday’s qualifier. The staff at Carolina Trace Country Club came to the rescue with the ability to host the event on Monday afternoon. With that, the date was rescheduled and set as a way for the qualifier to be played and a preview of all that is in store this upcoming weekend at the 2019 PKBGT Carolina’s Classic!

For the field of 42 able to work their schedule around and make the trip to Sanford, the move was a blessing in disguise. Clear blue skies illuminated by the shining sun welcomed the girls and their families as they passed through the Carolina Trace security gate, the sunlight’s reflection glimmering off the grandiose body of Lake Trace.

With the ideal conditions immersed by the transcendent aesthetics of a course in full bloom, Carolina Trace’s Lake Course served as the optimal setting for a round of golf on a day in celebration of the planet’s natural beauty. In a true display of her commitment and support of girls’ golf, Vicki DiSantis was in attendance on Monday – serving as a rules official for the event.

Ketch-ing fire in a tiebreaker playoff

All who gathered at Carolina Trace on Monday afternoon would likely agree that they could spend all day outside in the conditions, basking in the sunlight and enjoying a refreshing breeze every once in a while. Morgan Ketchum (Winston-Salem, NC 2022) and Trinity Muthomi (Kernersville, NC 2022) took that idea to the next level, locked in a dead heat for first place after 18 holes of regulation golf.

As the clock crept past 7 p.m. and beyond, the duo headed back to the ninth tee box for a tiebreaker playoff. With a gallery gathering atop the hill on which the green was positioned, Ketchum set the pace and dropped a 12-foot birdie putt, placing the weight of the tournament on Muthomi’s putter. In dramatic fashion, Muthomi responded with a lengthy birdie of her own, forcing a continuation of the playoff.

Closing in on 8 p.m., with daylight dwindling, a caravan of golf carts – rules officials, spectators and the two co-leaders – voyaged back one hole further to the eighth green for the second playoff hole. With not only an exemption into the prestigious CGA girls championship, but a chance to be crowned champion of the qualifier on the line, one would expect a passionate and fiery pump-up speech from the players. Ketchum’s final thoughts as she summited the mountain that is the eighth hole: “I have so much homework to do when I get home.”

Fighting the impending doom of a late-night homework session, Ketchum locked in on the green – the spectators off to the right-hand side resembling an army of ants from the elevated tee box – and landed her tee shot on the front edge. Despite Muthomi’s valiant effort, Ketchum held on with a two-putt for par, earning an exemption into the Vicki DiSantis Girls Championship and the first place medal, crowned champion of the 2019 CGA/PKBGT Vicki DiSantis Qualifier at Carolina Trace Country Club!

Ketchum and Muthomi each finished their round of regulation with scores of 75 (+3). Muthomi’s runner-up finish secured a mid-May date with Pine Island Country Club at the CGA championship event.

Cary-ing an exemption out of Sanford

Twelve fellow girls’ golfers joined Ketchum and Muthomi in earning an exemption into the 14th Vicki DiSantis Girls Championship in Charlotte. The town of Cary, North Carolina will be well represented at the event if Monday’s qualifier provides any indication. Five Cary natives, the most of any hometown, will be traveling to Pine Island Country Club on May 11-12, 2019. Take a look at all of the girls who earned their exemption:

3. Halynn Lee (Cary, NC 2021)

T4. Tyler Spriggs (Cary, NC 2022)

T4. Sophie Lauture (Raleigh, NC 2024)

6. Megan Morris (Cary, NC 2021)

T7. Emily Matthews (Mebane, NC 2023)

T7. Deborah Spair (Raleigh, NC 2020)

9. Victoria Ladd (Greensboro, NC 2019)

T10. Mary Sears Brown (Wake Forest, NC 2021)

T10. Napat Rattanaprakarn (Kenly, NC 2020)

T10. Haylie George (Cary, NC 2021)

T10. Justine Pennycooke (Cary, NC 2023)

T10. Emily Brubaker (Raleigh, NC 2020)

Relieve the exciting finish from Monday at Carolina Trace with the event recap HERE!

Around the Tour

The Week Ahead

The National Series returns to action, tracing the route back from Monday in a return to Sanford. The 2019 PKBGT Carolina’s Classic at Carolina Trace Country Club will conclude the PKBGT’s week at the Lake Course as the Bell National and Futures National divisions go into the weekend hoping to beat the course in a two-round battle.

The Central Florida Regional Series returns to action with their event at The Bayou Club in Largo, Florida on Saturday, April 27.

Upcoming Registration Deadlines

2019 PKBGT Dupont Girls Classic at Dupont Country Club (April 29; 12 a.m.)

PKBGT Central Florida Series at Eagle Creek Golf Club (April 29; 12 a.m.)

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/.