By Ryan Kaczmarski
Magnificat High School sophomore and Rocky River resident Jillian Hollis is no stranger to winning junior golf tournaments, but when she won the Peggy Kirk Bell Girls’ Golf Tour (PKBGT) Open championship on May 27, with her weekend scores of 73, 70 and 70 (213), and for Hollis, it was like winning for the very first time all over again.
“Although it wasn’t my first tournament win, it was my first (PKBGT) win,” she said. “It felt great that it came at the championship. I just played my game and focused on every shot. In the end, it was enough to win.”
The PKBGT is an initiative of the Triad Youth Golf Foundation, which is aimed at increasing learning and playing opportunities for youth golfers. The tour offers low-cost, nationally ranked girls golf tournaments designed to prepare junior female golfers for high school and collegiate golf.
Hollis, one of just over 300 girls on this tour, had to beat out the other top-95 players for the championship.
“The competition was tough,” she stated. “However, when I play in stroke tournaments, I try not to think about the competition. I just focus on the course, and achieving my goals for the day. The course is my biggest competitor.
“Thankfully, my short game was sharp, especially for the first round. It was just a matter of hitting more greens and making more putts in rounds two and three.”
The tourney was played at the Country Club of Salisbury, in Salisbury, N.C.
“The greens were beautiful, but tough,” Hollis said. “It’s difficult to hit and hold every green, especially on a Donald Ross course.
“I’ve been working hard on my short game this spring, and it really paid off in this event.”
Hollis will be playing the Hudson Junior Invitational at the Country Club of
Hudson, starting Monday, and has a full schedule of golf ahead of her before playing in the PKBGT Tournament of Champions, held at Moss Creek Country Club (North Course) in Hilton Head Island, S.C., in Sept.
“I have a number of events to play in between now and the Tournament of Champions,” she said. “It will give me some time to continue to work on areas I feel I can Improve upon.
“I love traveling to these tournaments and getting to see new places and meet new people,” Hollis continued. “This experience has been invaluable. I am so thankful to have parents who support me and my love of the game.”