ROANOKE, Va. – The 5th annual Valley Girls Junior Open teed off Saturday from Hunting Hills Country Club on a nice, breezy morning. In the Bell National division, defending champ McKenzie Weddle started the morning off with a birdie on the first hole. The Floyd native had trouble in the remaining holes on the front nine before rebounding nicely on the back nine to finish with a score of 80, +9. She’s in 5th place entering Sunday’s final round.
Roanoke native Ashnoor Kaur is the Bell Division leader after shooting a first round of 75, +4. She carded just one blemish on the front nine, a bogey on the opening hole, before scoring a birdie or par on holes 2 thru 10.
In the Futures division, Lily Hollberg of Moseley, Virginia is the leader at +8. Emmerson Bartley of Roanoke and Taylor Davis of Salem are tied for second with a score of +11.
Saturday night at the Valley Girls Junior Open banquet, two scholarships were awarded to the seniors in this year’s field. Gabbie Hollberg of Moseley, Virginia was one recipient and plans to attend the University of Lynchburg.
“It honestly means a lot because I’ve applied for many but haven’t gotten any of them,” Hollberg said. “So this was a really big surprise when my parents got the call the other night like ‘yeah she’s getting a scholarship’ and I was like ‘oh my goodness’ and I literally cried because this means so much.”
Emmerson Bartley received the other scholarship becoming the first girl from Roanoke to win a scholarship from the event.
“It’s pretty awesome because I haven’t been playing golf very long and it’s a big thing to be doing something in golf,” Bartley said. “It’s like I’m an athlete but now it’s like ‘all right we’re finally making some progress’ with where things are going and of course I’m competitive so this is great.”
Buchanan native Sierra Campbell served as the guest speaker for the event. She currently serves as the head coach of the women’s golf program at the University of North Georgia.