The Peggy Kirk Bell Girls Golf Tour National Series returned to the Palmetto state for the first time in over a month, taking over Blythewood for the weekend. A select few PKBGT members competed in a separate event at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, VA, vying for a spot into the qualifying round of an LPGA Tour event. The Central Florida Series played the long regional event of the weekend, taking on Orlando. May the Fourth has come and gone, so hunker down for a look back in this edition of The PKBGT Weekend Review.
2019 PKBGT Imperial Girls Classic presented by Imperial Headwear
As the field of 15 in the Bell National division pushed through their back nine in the first round of the 2019 PKBGT Imperial Girls Classic, the girls found themselves fighting mother nature once again.
The first year in a partnership with Imperial Headwear, the official headwear of the PKBGT, Columbia Country Club played host to the tour’s return to the Palmetto state in over a month. Players sporting PKBGT hats courtesy of our event sponsor paced through the fairways in Blythewood at a brisk pace, fighting off impending darkness limiting the field of vision.
Approaching the final stretch, flashes of lighting forced Saturday’s first group to halt play along with subsequent pairings following behind, all the way back to the 18 player Futures National field – many of which were yet to make the turn.
The sky’s remaining light faded while continual lightning strikes held players from a return to the course, ultimately forcing the suspension of the round. Bell National competitors would complete the remainder of their first round prior to the start of the final round on Sunday morning. Futures National competitors would abandon their first-round scores, transforming the two-day event into one-round of winner-take-all golf on Sunday.
At 8 a.m. Sunday morning, the tournament resumed as the Bell National players completed their first round and Futures National commenced their round simultaneously. A full slate of golf on Sunday ended with two players standing alone, crowned champions of the 2019 PKBGT Imperial Girls Classic!
Martin’s memorable May opener in the Bell National division
The first weekend in May acted as a clean slate, a fresh start to a new month for girls to make headway on the Order of Merit Rankings. Eying up the Open Championship in the month’s last weekend, the preceding events serve as an opportunity to make any minor tweaks in preparation for a PKBGT championship.
After the first round of play concluded on Sunday morning, Lauren Martin (Mooresville, NC 2020) trailed leader Mackenzie Gallagher (Orlando, FL 2021) by three strokes, each opening their month in position to contend for their first tournament win of the season. Gallagher came out of the gates storming, posting a first-round score of one-under-par 71 and providing herself breathing room going into the final round.
Martin, determined to close the gap, made it known early on that a three-stroke lead was no cushion to lean on. She made the turn in the final round at one-under-par after posting a 35 that included back-to-back birdies on the first two holes of her round.
Due to soggy conditions, Sunday’s shortened course played as a Par 70 at just over 5,500 yards. Martin took full advantage, powering through less-than-desirable lies to an even-par 70 final round score.
Meanwhile, Gallagher failed to replicate her stellar first-round performance and two bogeys in her final five holes allowed Martin to leap past the Florida native into first place. In doing so, Martin took home the first win of her National Series career and the 2019 PKBGT Imperial Girls Classic trophy!
A Taylor-made Sunday in the Futures National division
All of the 18 competitors in the Futures National division arrived at Columbia Country Club on Sunday morning fully aware that the round of golf to come would determine the champion in Blythewood.
Each player began the day with a clean slate, an equal opportunity to come out on top of the leaderboard. Taylor Burch (Elgin, SC 2021) made the most of the opportunity, posting an even-par score of 70 on the day. Burch separated herself from the field with three birdies on a one-under-par 35 front nine.
From there, she made three pars in a row before returning to earth during a small hiccup of back-to-back bogeys. Despite the blip in her round, Burch gave herself enough cushion that she remained in first place – solidifying her first career PKBGT victory with a birdie on the final hole. She departed Blythewood as champion of the 2019 PKBGT Imperial Girls Classic in the Futures National division!
Want the full rundown on everything from the weekend in Blythewood? Read the event recap HERE!
2019 LPGA Tour Pure Silk Girls Junior Championship at Kingsmill Resort
While the National Series played the 2019 PKBGT Imperial Girls Classic in South Carolina, 34 players – the majority of which are members of the tour – competed in a two-day special event for a chance to play in the Monday qualifier of an LPGA Tour event.
Presented by the Middle Atlantic PGA (MAPGA), the 2019 LPGA Tour Pure Silk Girls Junior Championship was hosted by Kingsmill Resort and players had the opportunity to compete on the same River Course that LPGA Tour professionals will occupy at the 2019 LPGA Tour Pure Silk Championship on May 20-26.
The weekend tournament in Williamsburg, Virginia served as an all-out battle for one exemption into the Monday qualifying round at the LPGA Tour Pure Silk Championship. With the goal of playing alongside tour professionals, the field gave everything they could in the weather-shortened 36-hole competition.
From the get-go, Rebecca DiNunzio (Norfolk, VA 2019) mimicked the likes of the LPGA’s elite. DiNunzio opened her Saturday round with back-to-back birdies, two of three birdies on a three-under-par 33 front nine. The future Virginia Tech Hokie displayed no sign of slowing down, dropping two more birdies on the back nine, bringing her first-round total to five. She closed out the round with a score of 67 (-4).
In DiNunzio’s rear-view mirror, challenging the leader with an equally impressive first-round score of 71 (-1) was Katherine Schuster (Kill Devils Hill, NC 2021). Schuster did everything in her power to make a charge towards DiNunzio with a two-under-par 34 in her final nine holes, falling just one stroke short.
Closing out the weekend with a total score of 67, 36 = 103 (-4 ), DiNunzio earned the exemption and will compete in the 2019 LPGA Tour Pure Silk Championship Monday qualifier on May 20!
Looking for the full lowdown on the weekend in Williamsburg? Read the full event recap HERE!
2019 PKBGT Central Florida Series at Eagle Creek GC
Rounding out a busy weekend on the PKBGT, the tour’s Central Florida Regional Series completed their event at Eagle Creek GC in Orlando, FL!
The fourth was certainly with Darby Hancock (Lakeland, FL 2025) on Saturday as she earned her first victory in the Futures division! Hancock was a regular atop the Discovery division leaderboard in the 2018 season, winning all three events she competed in.
The 2019 campaign came with the move up into the Futures division and Hancock hasn’t missed a beat. Prior to her win this weekend, she finished in the Top Five in all but one of the tournaments this season. After posting a score of 77 (+4) through 18 holes, Hancock took the title in a tiebreaker playoff win!
In the Discovery division, the tournament ended in a similar fashion. Riley Fletcher (Winter Springs, FL 2025) and Adriana Pagan (Oviedo, FL 2026) closed out their nine-hole rounds in a tie for first place with scores of 38 (+2). Yet another tiebreaker playoff was required to determine a champion. At the end of the day, Fletcher outlasted Pagan and took home a champions trophy – the first win of her PKBGT career!
For full coverage from Eagle Creek GC, head to the event recap HERE!
Movement of the Week
Both the 2019 PKBGT Imperial Girls Classic and the LPGA Tour Pure Silk Girls Junior Championship provided platforms for girls to improve their position on the PKBGT Performance Index this past weekend. Rebecca DiNunzio (Norfolk, VA 2019) capitalized on her win at Kingsmill Resort, jumping 10 spots into fourth place on the Performance Index! Lauren Martin (Monroeville, NC 2020) gained traction with her win in Blythewood, hopping 31 spots into No. 67 on the Performance Index.
Other Notable Movement on the PKBGT Performance Index:
7.) Katherine Schuster (Kills Devil Hills, NC 2021) moved up 1 spot
21.) Mary Kathryn Talledo (Spartanburg, SC 2021) moved 7 spots
29.) Mackenzie Gallagher (Orlando, FL 2021) moved up 9 spots
30.) Vynie Chen (Centreville, VA 2020) moved up 12 spots
45.) Sydney Hackett (Ashburn, VA 2022) moved up 11 spots
84.) Mikayla Dubnik (Gainsville, GA 2021) moved up 22 spots
85.) Hannah Lydic (Ocean View, DE 2022) moved up 18 spots
Around the Tour
The Week Ahead
The National Series travels back north, up Interstate 95, to Delaware for the 2019 PKBGT DuPont Girls Classic! DuPont Country Club, the former host to the McDonald’s LPGA Championship, will now take in 47 of the PKBGT’s Mid-Atlantic members for a weekend in Wilmington!
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/.