The extended holiday weekend allowed the Peggy Kirk Bell Girls’ Golf Tour’s National Series to complete a 54-hole championship event – a grand sendoff for the spring season – in Salisbury. The remainder of the tour’s Regional Series took a momentary breather, preparing for the deluge of events in a jam-packed summer season! On the final weekend in the month of May, all eyes were on the select group of national members competing for the 2019 PKBGT Open Championship. As you recoup from the Memorial Day weekend, take a glance back at the tour’s toasty championship event in this edition of The PKBGT Weekend Review!
2019 PKBGT Open Championship at Country Club of Salisbury
Across the southeast region of the country, temperatures were forecasted to reach near-record highs over Memorial Day weekend. Players and parents set to spend the weekend baking in the searing sunshine packed their suitcases and backpacks in preparation. Before heading to the practice facilities on Saturday morning, players made certain to apply a hefty layer of sunscreen for protection throughout the afternoon.
As they took their warmup swings, the driving range could have been easily mistaken for the coastal beaches – a horde of PKBGT umbrellas lined the horizon, resembling the shoreline swarmed by those celebrating the “opening weekend” of the summer season. This was far from a weekend of relaxation for the 87 competitors amidst mental preparation for high stakes over the next two days, fighting to score well and survive Sunday’s cut.
The first two days of competition were a roller coaster across the leaderboard, with several players turning in under-par performances and setting themselves in a position to compete for the championship in Monday’s final round. At the conclusion of Sunday’s double-tee start, the field was narrowed down to the top 30 players in the Bell National field and the top 17 players in the Futures National field.
Closing out the tournament in style, multiple players saved their best performance for Monday’s final round. In the Bell National division, the margin of victory increased as the morning continued. There was a different narrative in the Futures National division as several players battled it out for the top spot on the leaderboard and the championship trophy!
Turner’s tops off a terrific career in the Bell National division
The 2019 PKBGT Open Championship would be one final curtain call for several of this year’s graduating class. Preparing to enter the next step in their golf careers, the graduating seniors took one last swing at a PKBGT championship event.
In her final event before heading to Harrisonburg in the fall, Kendall Turner (Chesapeake, VA 2019) capped off a strong career in commanding fashion as she ran away with the championship in the Bell National division. Trailing by one stroke after posting a 70 (-1) in the first round, Turner took over the leaderboard in a display of utter domination in the subsequent two rounds.
She may as well have painted her scorecard red for the weekend, turning in a weekend total score that never escalated to par or above. Turner’s weekend total score was 70, 70, 67 = 207 (-6). In her final event as a member of the tour, the future Duke at James Madison University claimed her second career victory.
Yu can’t stop Ellen in the Futures National division
It was anybody’s tournament entering Monday’s final round in the Futures National division. Down the stretch, Ellen Yu (High Point, NC 2026) prevailed, taking the 2019 PKBGT Open Championship by four strokes over the next closest competitor.
Yu is no stranger to winning on the Futures National division this season. The victory at Country Club of Salisbury was her third of the 2019 campaign, following her first career win at the PKBGT Spring Invitational and a tiebreaker playoff win at the PKBGT Carolina’s Classic last month.
In her first North Carolina Regional Series event, Yu she earned first-place honors at the 2019 Gate City Classic last weekend before returning to the national stage. She closed out a spectacular weekend with a three-day total score of 71, 75, 75 = 221 (+8).
Want the full rundown on every bit of the 2019 PKBGT Open Championship?! Read the event recap HERE!
Movement Monday (Tuesday edition)
The 2019 PKBGT Open Championship closed out the tour’s spring season and with each passing event, the opportunity to move up in the rankings becomes less frequent. The 54-hole championship event provided a massive boost to many participants on both the Bell National Order of Merit and Futures National Order of Merit.
Bell National Order of Merit
At the hands of her second win in the 2019 season, Kendall Turner (Chesapeake, VA 2019) climbed atop the Bell National Order of Merit, moving up ten spots and now in sole possession of first place! Right behind Turner, Vynie Chen (Centreville, VA 2020) took advantage of a T3 finish to climb six spots into second place on the Order of Merit!
Other Notable Movement on the Bell National OOM
7. Kara Carter (Kingsport, TN 2021): moved up 5 spots
9. Danielle Suh (Herndon, VA 2020): moved up 9 spots
10. Melissa Meng (Blacksburg, VA 2020): moved up 15 spots
12. Emily Dunlap (Greenville, SC 2019): moved up 15 spots
24. Mackenzie Gallagher (Orlando, FL 2021): moved up 28 spots
25. Kelley Topiwala (Matthews, NC 2020): moved up 35 spots
30. Adrian Anderson (Murrels Inlet, SC 2022): moved up 27 spots
32. Kayleigh Reinke (Rock Hill, SC 2021): moved up 40 spots
33. Kayla Bartemeyer (Mount Pleasant, SC 2020): moved up 31 spots
36. Victoria Cook (Reidsville, NC 2020): moved up 19 spots
Futures National Order of Merit
Despite her victory at the 2019 PKBGT Open Championship, Ellen Yu (High Point, NC 2026) remains in third place on the Futures National Order of Merit rankings. Sophie Lauture (Raleigh, NC 2024) and Grace Ridenour (Cary, NC 2025) hold on to their first and second place positions respectively.
Other Notable Movement on the Futures National OOM
4. Josephine Nguyen (Springfield, VA 2024): moved up 3 spots
5. Madison Messimer (Mrytle Beach, SC 2025): moved up 5 spots
17. Kaitlyn Mosdell (Roanoke, VA 2021): moved up 15 spots
20. Lauren Denhard (Salisbury, NC 2019): moved up 29 spots
21. Kanchana Duangsam (Haymarket, VA 2026): moved up 15 spots
29. Christina Cupelli (Fairfax, VA 2021): moved up 39 spots
T31. Anna Howerton (Kernersville, NC 2023): moved up 30 spots
Perry’s clutch performance at the PureSilk Championship
Former member and current PKBGT ambassador, Katherine Perry, competed in the LPGA Tour’s PureSilk Championship this past weekend in Williamsburg, Virginia. Perry entered the final round inside the Top 10. She came through when it mattered the most, making three birdies in her last four holes and earning a T9 finish! Congratulations KP!
Around the Tour
The Week Ahead
The National Series travels back to South Carolina for the 2019 PKBGT Coastal Carolina Classic at the Hackler Golf Course in Conway, SC! The Central Florida Series plays the Central Florida Series Girls Classic at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, FL. Closing out next weekend’s action, the Middle Atlantic Regional Series returns with an event at Pendleton Golf Club in Ruther Glen, VA.
Upcoming Registration Deadlines
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/.