Triyakul, Yiengst win Valley Girls Junior Open titles

It was Triyakul’s first time playing in the United States.

ROANOKE, Va. – It proved to be an exciting and eventful final round for the Valley Girls Junior Open tournament. Both the Bell National and Futures National divisions ended in playoff holes. Kornchanok Triyakul of Thailand won the Bell National Division on playoff hole two.

“My first time playing here [in the States] is Hunting Hills and the hills are really tiring and really steep but the course is in really great condition and I love the environment here in the States,” Triyakul said. “Everyone is friendly and supportive and it’s a really good golf society here. It was a really great experience playing today and winning too so thank you very much Peggy Kirk Bell and Hunting Hills.”

It was a busy day at the top of the leader board. In contention for much of the day was Floyd County native McKenzie Weddle. Her day started on the 16th hole as she carded four consecutive par’s to start the day. Despite a bogey on the par three, second hole, Weddle regrouped to record six straight par’s and a birdie on the par 5, 10th hole. She finished the day at +5, +11 for the tournament for 4th place.

Weddle’s future Radford University teammate Caroline Gilreath was on the heels of Madison Koshko. Her final round started on the 15th hole. Gilreath recorded three birdies on Sunday an Eagle on the first hole. She made up ground late to tie for a round-best of +1, +7 for the weekend and a third place finish.

Koshko, from State College, Pennsylvania, recorded 5 birdies in the final round to tie Gilreath for a round-best score of +1. With that, Koshko earned the right to play a playoff against Kornchanok for the title. Koshko had a chance to wrap it up on hole one but her birdie putt went just wide of the cup and we moved to a second playoff hole.

Despite pulling off a sweet chip shot to get on the green, Triyakul’s tee shot set her up nicely for a birdie putt that made all the difference.

Bell National top finishers at the 2023 Valley Girls Junior Open at Hunting Hills Country Club (WSLS)

In the Futures National Division, it was a close battle all day between Kylie Yiengst and Grace Bearley--so much so that the two were forced into a playoff. Yiengst was able to outlast Bearley after sinking her birdie putt while Bearley’s attempt went wide of the cup.

Futures National top finishers at the 2023 Valley Girls Junior Open at Hunting Hills Country Club (WSLS)

About the Author:

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.