SMU-bound Wright wins Arizona Silver Belle
Courtesy of Az Silver Belle
Tempe, Ariz. – Kenzie Wright, 18, a senior at
Spring Creek Academy from McKinney, Texas has
won the 2015 Joanne Winter Arizona Silver Belle
competing for the first time in the acclaimed
event. Wright came from behind with a 67 in the
final round (the low round of this year's
tournament) to finish with an 8-under 208
clinching the title.
Wright, who is committed to play at Southern
Methodist University, came into the round trailing
leader Haley Moore by 5 strokes. Kenzie's 7
birdies and two bogeys gave her the win. She felt
her game overall was strong and consistent.
"I got on a roll and kept the roll going. I felt I had
a good chance at winning when I made the turn
at the 9th hole. I got into a groove and stepped
up and kept pushing," said Wright.
She chose to enter the Silver Belle because it is
such a big tournament and she has heard great
things about it. She loves playing golf in Arizona,
particularly at ASU Karsten so she felt the
tournament was the perfect fit for her.
"I started playing when I was 7. We lived on a
golf course and I saw everyone driving by and
playing and I thought I would like to do that! I
started taking lessons in April and entered my
first tournament in June. I did pretty well, I came
in second," laughed Wright.
Kenzie's 2015 tournament wins include the AJGA
Payne Stewart Junior Championship in Hollister
Missouri, the Taylormade Junior Open in
Carrollton, Texas, and the TJGT Slick Rock Junior
Championship in Horseshoe Bay, Texas.
With a total score of 210, Jiyoon Jong, 17, came
in second with 4 birdies for the round. She
attributes her success to the fact that she is not a
wild hitter. She didn't feel as though she played
her best round, but she was able to maintain her
game to be in contention up to the end.
"I drove my woods fine, some of my approach
shots were a little short – something was just off.
I was thinning my irons and I seemed to be doing
a lot of "chip & save" in my short game," said
Jong. "I wasn't putting with enough speed. I was
playing defense the whole way. Toward the end I
started adding more speed on my putts and that
made a difference. Mostly I feel really good about
being under par all three days."
After a shaky start, second round tournament
leader Haley Moore, 17, held the lead through the
turn at the ninth hole. But she was unable to
maintain it, posting three bogeys on the back nine
and couldn't seem to regain the momentum she
had going into the final round.
"My game was kind of up and down. My putting
wasn't the best but I kept on fighting. That's golf.
Kenzie played lights out and she deserved to win,"
said Moore, who was last year's runner up. She
said she was happy with her results over all and is
proud about coming in 5-under par and is excited
to start playing for University of Arizona in
Finishing at 1-under par and tied for 4th place
overall were Ellie Slama, 16 of Salem, Oregon;
Brigitte Dunne, 18 of Camarillo, Calif.; Raegan
Bremer, 21, of Anaheim, Calif.; and Elizabeth
Wang, 15, of San Marino, Calif.
While all players played the 6102 yard ASU
Karsten Golf course, Champions for each age
13-14 year olds: Sabrina Iqbal of San Jose, CA
with 217 (1 over par)
15-16 year olds: Ellie Slama of Salem, OR with
215 (1 under par)
17-18 year olds: Jiyoon Jang of Rancho Mirage,
CA with 210 (6 under par)
19-23 year olds: Raegan Bremer of Anaheim, CA
with 215 (1 under par)
Presenting the Kachina awards was Presenting
Sponsor AB Farrington Foundation Chairman, Geri
Cavanagh. Cavanagh has long been involved with
the Silver Belle Championship and Junior Golf in
Arizona. Joining Ms. Cavanagh was Arizona
Women's Golf Association Executive Director, Mary
Pomroy. Without the support of the AWGA, the
Silver Belle would not be able to host the
exceptional event the players and coaches have
come to know.
45 years ago when Joanne Winter founded the
Arizona Silver Belle she had a vision to create an
opportunity for amateur women players to
compete against not only players of their own age
but those ranging in age from 13 - 23. Prior to
that time there were few tournaments for young
women, but those that did exist were age
restricted. Since 1971 these young amateurs
have had the chance to compete and learn from
one another and to experience all that
tournament play has to offer. The Silver Belle has
grown into one of the premier amateur events for
young women from across the United States and
around the world.
ABOUT THE Arizona Silver Belle Championship
Prominent amateur golf tournament for junior girls
and women 13 - 23 years of age who compete over
54 holes of stroke play. The field is flighted by age,
but the overall champion may come from any age
Joanne Winter, one of 14 original
Master Professionals in the LPGA's Teaching and
Professional Division, founded the Arizona Silver
Belle 1971. Winter was a noted athlete before
beginning her love affair with golf. She pitched with
the Racine Belles in the All-American Girls
Professional Baseball League from 1943-50 and later
served as a consultant for the film, "A League Of
Their Own," which chronicled the women's league.
After retiring from the diamond, she turned to golf
and won the Arizona State Women's Championship
Entrants must provide a USGA Handicap
of 15.0 or lower and supply a
resume of tournament scores and other
information as required by the golf
system. The selection process is based
this information and national ranking.
View Complete Tournament Information