With Memorial Weekend and the 2019 PKBGT Open Championships peeking around the corner, the tour bids one final goodbye to the spring season with a three-day, 54-hole championship event. It was Alexander Graham Bell who said it best: “When one door closes, another opens.”
The onset of the PKBGT summer season brings a full slate of junior girls’ golf to all corners of the eastern United States. The tour’s Regional Series hits the ground running come June 1. While the Central Florida Series wraps up its season with two multi-day events, the PKBGT breaks ground into two brand new regions.
Extending north into Philadelphia and the surrounding areas, the Delaware Valley Series played their first event in May, with the heart of the schedule to follow in the coming months. The tour explores uncharted western territories with the inaugural season of the Kentucky Series which kicks off on June 9.
Ringing in the summer season for the PKBGT’s National Series, the caravan treks back to the Palmetto State for a date with the Carolina coast. Coastal Carolina University in Conway and the Hackler Golf Course, to be exact.
Not all members are sailing in the clear from their final days in a classroom, but they’re undoubtedly ready to trade in pencils and paper for fairways and fresh air. Anxiously awaiting an entire summer to work on their game, the 2019 Coastal Carolina Classic provides a sneak preview into the very meaning of summer.
46 players and families will flock to the home course of the Coastal Carolina Women’s Golf Team for a Division I challenge, with a possible pit stop at one of South Carolina sunny beaches along the way (or in between rounds).
Players will compete in one of two divisions: Bell National at 5,721 yards and Futures National at 5, 287 yards. With a field comprised of past champions and promising young talent, let’s delve into the players to watch at next weekend’s 2019 PKBGT Coastal Carolina Classic!
Leading the pack of 21 in the Bell National field, Adrian Anderson (Murrels Inlet, SC 2022) searches for her first win on the tour this season. Entering the tournament as the highest ranked Bell National participant on the PKBGT Performance Index, Anderson currently sits at No. 30. Her top finish of the year was a third-place performance at the 2019 PKBGT Masters in Greenville, NC. Look for Anderson to crack the Top 50 of the Bell National Order of Merit, where she currently sits at No. 57, with a strong performance in Conway.
Joining Anderson inside the Top 50 on the Performance Index, Macie Burcham (Greensboro, NC 2021) currently sits at No. 44 entering next weekend’s event. She has two Top Ten finishes on the national circuit this season and is coming off a third-place finish at the 2019 Gate City Classic in the North Carolina Series.
Autumn Carey (Manning, SC 2022) returns to the Bell National division following her participation at the North Carolina Series’ Gate City Classic. On the national stage, Carey has eight Top Ten finishes split between the Bell National and Prep Preview divisions. She finished third on the Prep Preview Order of Merit which concluded in April. Her top Bell National finish came at the 2019 PKB Foundation classic where she placed ninth.
In her first event since taking home the coveted PKBGT glass bowl trophy at the 2019 Carolina’s Classic, Deborah Spair (Raleigh, NC 2020) hopes to replicate her performance in Sanford to walk out of Conway with additional hardware. Spair has a fourth-place finish at the Palmetto Dunes Resort Classic to go along with her win at Carolina Trace.
Entering her first Bell National contest of the year, Taylor Burch (Elgin, SC 2021) hopes the success she achieved in the Futures National and Prep division translates into the next level. Burch took home first-place honors at the 2019 PKBGT Imperial Girls Classic in the Futures National division, following that performance with a Prep division win at the Southeast Series event in Columbia.
Just as the Regional Series pick up speed, the Futures National division slowly winds down over the summer season. If the current season to date is any indication of what is to come down the final stretch, we can all buckle up for an exhilarating finish to the Futures National Order of Merit race.
Currently holding a 0.75 point lead, in first place on the Order of Merit is Sophie Lauture (Raleigh, NC 2024). Lauture is synonymous with top finishes on the Futures National circuit this season. She has nine Top 10 finishes on the year, including wins at the 2019 PKBGT RocketTour Players Championship and the 2019 PKBGT Masters. Lauture looks to gain breathing room, and a cushion between herself and the field with a strong performance in Conway.
Along with Lauture, Madison Messimer (Myrtle Beach, SC 2025) enters the tournament ranked inside the Top 10 on the Order of Merit Rankings, at No. 10. Messimer doesn’t have a lengthy trip, strolling just down the road to Conway, and hopes to match her previous success in 2019. She has three Top 10 finishes including her season-best runner-up finish at the 2019 PKBGT Spring Invitational.
McKenzie Daffin (Fayetteville, NC 2021) heads to the Hackler Course ranked No. 12 on the Order of Merit. She has seven Top 10 finishes on the season, combined between the Prep Preview, Prep North Carolina and Futures National divisions. Her best finish in the Futures National division was a third-place effort at the 2019 PKBGT Carolina’s Classic in Sanford. She looks to break into the Top 10 in the Order of Merit with a similar performance at Coastal Carolina.
Rounding out the players to watch at the 2019 Coastal Carolina Classic, McKayla Daffin (Fayetteville, NC 2021) completes the dynamic sister duo in search of a top finish at the Hackler Course. Daffin generated buzz at the 2019 PKBGT Masters with a fourth-place finish and finished T7 at the North Carolina Series at Longleaf G & FC.
We would like to wish all of our competitors the best of luck in next weekend’s event! With a Division I test on the Carolina Coast, the 2019 Coastal Carolina Classic promises to bring out the best of the 46 competitors in action! To stay up to date on where the leaderboard stands, be sure to follow live scoring!
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/.