The Peggy Kirk Bell Girls’ Golf Tour witnessed an epic performance on the National Series at a championship event in Greenville while familiar faces topped the leaderboard at the Central Florida Regional Series event in Oviedo. In Augusta, several PKBGT Alumni represented the tour in a historic weekend at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur! Grab your peanuts and a cozy seat for this rendition of The PKBGT Weekend Review!

2019 PKBGT Masters Presented by Aunt Ruby’s Peanuts

Early Friday morning, the weather forecast in Greenville, NC called for rain in the afternoon, clearing overnight and leaving the weekend skies crystal clear with temperatures in the mid-70’s, the perfect setting for a PKBGT championship event. Brilliant shades of blue blanketed the sky as Friday’s practice round came to a close. A promising tone in the prelude to a full weekend slate of highly competitive golf.

Players arrived at the course dark and early Saturday morning, before the rooster’s call alerting the sun to rise from its slumber. However, the clock ticked along and that bright sunshine never appeared. Instead, the tournament was met by a pesky mist that, from time to time, turned into a steady rain.

The savory aroma of a smokey grill between the first and tenth tees lifted spirits and when the time for lunch approached, the rain died off and allowed players to feast in dry, comfortable conditions. Before and after, the mouth-watering display of samples by Aunt Ruby’s Peanuts, the official event partner, served as an energy boost for players walking toward the tenth tee.

On the course, the first day was a challenge for nearly all players in the field. Between sloppy conditions and a grueling 36-hole double-round for those in the Bell National field, it was a test of mental strength and perseverance.

Sunday brought with it a new element to delay the final round of play. Thick fog created an eerie setting and forced a 30-minute delay to the early morning Final Round tee times. The fog lifted quickly and was replaced with that bright sunshine and clear skies that was promised for the duration of the weekend. Players were met by current and former East Carolina University Women’s Golf team members, many of them PKBGT alumni, who served as voluntary starters to begin the final round of play at the school’s home course.

With 18 holes to make a run at the top of the leaderboard, improved conditions tightened the race in two of the three divisions and led to a memorable finish across the board.

Sambach steals the show in the Bell National Division

There was no event partner more perfect for this weekend than Aunt Ruby’s because Amanda Sambach (Davidson, NC 2021) went absolutely (pea)nuts! Sambach responded to the soggy conditions by posting back-to-back rounds of 67 (-5), closing out the first day of competition with a twenty-stroke lead after an astonishing ten-under-par performance. One-third of her 36 holes ended with a birdie scoring 12, including four in a row to start her second round.

Sambach entered the final round of play on Sunday with a more-than-comfortable lead, but she refused to let up. Her final round 71 (-1) put the finishing touch on a weekend of under-par rounds. Finishing with a total score of 205 (-11), Sambach walked away with the 2019 PKBGT Masters championship and a weekend to remember at Greenville Country Club.

Hackett hops to the top in the Prep Preview division

Saturday evening, Syndey Hackett (Ashburn, VA 2022) left the facilities trailing the leader of the Prep Preview division by one stroke. Hackett put herself in a position to compete on the final round of play. She came roaring out of the gate on Sunday, finishing the round with a three-birdie performance en route to her five-stroke victory. Her final round score of 74 (+2) was the best in the Prep Preview division and her two-day total score of 152 (+8) earned her the glass bowl trophy at the 2019 PKBGT Masters, the first championship win of her career.

Lauture’s late run to the title in the Futures National division

The margin of victory was comfortable, to say the least, in the first two divisions. The Futures National division came down to a remarkably different finish. Heading to the ninth tee box with two holes to play, it was anybody’s tournament to win. Sophie Lauture (Raleigh, NC 2024) and Grace Ridenour (Cary, NC 2025), playing in the same pairing, sat in a dead heat atop the leaderboard.

Each player experienced their respective peaks and valleys during the final round and it would take just one moment of separation to determine the winner. That moment came at the ninth green when Lauture sank a putt for birdie, giving her a one-stroke lead heading into the final hole, the par-three 10th. Both players made par and with that, Lauture marched to the scoring tent as the champion of the 2019 PKBGT Masters. Her second win of the season came thanks to a two-day total score of 159 (+15).

For the complete breakdown of the championship event, read the event recap HERE!

PKBGT Central Florida Series at Twin Rivers GC

While the National Series completed a full day of competition on Saturday, the PKBGT Central Florida Series was playing their event at Twin Rivers GC in Oviedo, FL! 18 of Central Florida’s dedicated PKBGT members were back in action for the second week in a row and history repeated itself!

Madison Garrett (Tampa, FL 2019) brought home her second win in the Futures division in as many weeks! Garrett took the tournament by three strokes over runner-up Tiffany Colin (Wesley Chapel, FL 2023), and secured the victory with a birdie the 17th green. She finished the tournament with a score of 78 (+6).

It was a familiar face atop the leaderboard in the Discovery division as Bretton Mackiewicz (Longwood, FL 2025) walked out of Oviedo with the second of back-to-back wins in the last two weeks. Mackiewicz shot a season-best score of 34 (-2) in taking home the trophy.

Find complete coverage of the Central Florida Series at Twin Rivers GC HERE!

Movement Monday

A monstrous win in the Bell National division and new faces gracing the Top Five across the board guaranteed for a significant reshaping of the PKBGT Order of Merit Rankings on Movement Monday!

Bell National Order of Merit

Despite having the weekend off, Sara Im (Duluth, GA 2023) retained her top spot on the Bell National Order of Merit. Amanda Sambach (Davidson, NC 2021) broke into the Top Three after her monstrous performance at the 2019 PKBGT Masters, as she earns #MoverOfTheWeek honors! She jumped 11 spots in the rankings.

Maria Atwood (Holly Springs, NC 2021) also broke into the Top Three of the rankings, now sitting in second place after her performance in Greenville. Cracking the Top Five for the first time this season, Emma Chen (Derwood, MD 2022) continues a strong season with another Top Ten finish at the PKBGT masters. Alexi Siehl (Fort Mill, SC 2022) and Kendall Turner (Chesapeake, VA 2019) also broke into the Top Ten on the Order of Merit.

Other Notable Movement in the Bell National OOM Rankings:

19. Elizabeth Coffren (Owings, MD 2020): moved up 10 spots

21. Isabel Bae (Bristow, VA 2021): moved up 24 spots

45. Sue Lee (Lorton, VA 2022): moved up 31 spots

47. Adrian Anderson (Murrels Inlet, SC 2022): moved up 53 spots

56. Kayla Bartemeyer (Mount Pleasant, SC 2020): moved up 47 spots

61. Tatum Walsh (Midlothian, VA 2021): moved up 30 spots

74. Napat Rattanaprakarn (Kenly, NC 2020): moved up 46 spots

Prep Preview Order of Merit

The 2019 PKBGT Masters brought with it the conclusion of the Prep Preview season. After an exciting race, Macy Pate (Boone, NC 2024) jumped into first place, winning the 2019 Prep Preview Order of Merit! Pate edged out Grace Holcomb (Wilmington, NC 2021), who finished in second place on the season. Both players earned their exemption into the 2019 PKBGT Invitational with their performances in the Prep Preview division this year. Congratulations to all of the Top Finishers on the Prep Preview Order of Merit this season!

Prep Preview Order of Merit Final Top 10:

1. Macy Pate (Boone, NC 2024)

2. Grace Holcomb (Wilmington, NC 2021)

3. Autumn Carey (Manning, SC 2022)

4. Abby Franks (Roebuck, SC 2023)

5. Sydney Hackett (Ashburn, VA 2022)

6. Megan Morris (Cary, NC 2021)

7. Amber Mackiewicz (Virginia Beach, VA 2021)

8. McKenzie Daffin (Fayetteville, NC 2021)

9. Madison Lynn Dixon (Inman, SC 2023)

10. Abby Hunter (Blacksburg, VA 2021)

Futures National Order of Merit

Trading back and forth on the Order of Merit in the Futures National division, Sophie Lauture (Raleigh, NC 2024) took back her place atop the OOM rankings with the win this weekend.  Grace Ridenour (Cary, NC 2025) dropped back to second place, but it promises to be an exciting competition between the two week-in and week-out in the second half of the season!

Other Notable Movement in the Prep Preview OOM Rankings:

7. Emerson Dever (Durham, NC 2025): moved up 6 spots

10. Josephine Nguyen (Springfield, VA 2024): moved up 19 spots

16. Catherine Vivongsy (Wake Forest, NC 2021): moved up 20 spots

21. Kitson O’Neal (Pinehurst, NC 2023): moved up 34 spots

24. McKayla Daffin (Fayetteville, NC 2021): moved up 49 spots

25. Madelyn Vogan (New Bern, NC 2023): moved up 27 spots

T29. Justine Pennycooke (Cary, NC 2023): moved up 46 spots

T29. Grace Addison (Abingdon, VA 2023): moved up 60 spots

Around the Tour

Drive, Chip and Putt Nationals at August National

Congratulations to the six PKBGT Members who were finalists in this year’s Drive, Chip, and Putt, earning the chance to compete at Augusta National!

Briel Royce (Girls 7-9)

Ellen Yu (Girls 10-11)

Kate Barber (Girls 12-13)

Sydney Yermish (Girls 12-13)

Sara Im (Girls 14-15)

Madilyn Newman (Girls 14-15)

The Week Ahead

The National Series heads north to Bulle Rock GC in Harve de Grace, MD next weekend for the 2019 Mid-Atlantic Girls Championship! The event, in partnership with the MAPGA and MSGA, will take place at the former host course to the McDonalds LPGA Championship.  

The North Carolina Regional Series returns to action at Monroe Country Club in Monroe, NC. The event takes place on Saturday, April 13 and registration closes TONIGHT at 12 a.m.

The inaugural Junior Collegiate Showcase, presented by Girls Golf of Athens and GG Golf, takes place Sunday, April 14 and the registration deadline has been extended until TONIGHT at 12 a.m.

Upcoming Registration Deadlines

Junior Collegiate Showcase at UGA GC (TONIGHT; 12 a.m.)

North Carolina Series at Monroe Country Club (TONIGHT; 12 a.m.)

CGA-PKBGT North Carolina Vicki Disantis Qualifier (TONIGHT; 12 a.m.)

CGA-PKBGT South Carolina Vicki Disantis Qualifier (TONIGHT; 12 a.m.)

Carolina’s Classic at Carolina Trace Country Club (April 15; 12 a.m.)

Alumni Alert

Congratulations to PKBGT Alumni Anna Redding (Class of 2015), Amanda Doherty (Class of 2016), Natalie Srinivasan (Class of 2016) and Haylee Harford (Class of 2015) on advancing to and competing in the final round of the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur this past weekend!

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/.