SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The final round of the 46th Joanne Winter Arizona Silver Belle came down to the wire with Brigitte Dunne, 19, of Camarillo Calif., and Haley Moore, 18, of Escondido, Calif. finishing with an exciting sudden death playoff. Dunne birdied the first hole to clinch the championship with a final score of 210 (-6) for the three-day championship to win the Kachina award. Brigitte follows in the footsteps of fellow SMU teammate, Kenzie Wright, who claimed the Championship in 2015.
“I played solid all day even with an unplayable lie and hitting into the water. I just kept telling myself to come back fighting. I was able to make 6 birdies so I was putting really well,” said Dunne.
Dunne, in her fourth Silver Belle appearance, said she keeps coming back to the Silver Belle because the tournament is at a perfect time between seasons and is an excellent way to say see the results of her practice and she promises to be back again in 2017 when the Silver Belle will be held at Talking Stick again.
“The best part of the match was the playoff. Haley was playing such great golf – we both were. To make that birdie putt in the playoff to win it was the coolest feeling,” declared Dunne.
Moore played a great round as well with a very consistent day and 4 birdies for the round. She acknowledged that Dunne was playing well and that to come down to a sudden death is an exciting way to finish the tournament.
“The round was back and forth all the way, I hung in there until the end. I was hitting the ball close to the green and making putts when I needed them, but Brigitte deserves this win – she played hard,” Moore said.
The final day brought the low rounds of the tournament – 67 (-5) by both Sabrina Iqbal, 15, and Alisaundre Morallos, 17, both from California.
All players played the 6250 yard Talking Stick Golf Club South Course. Champions for each age bracket were:
- 13-14 years old: Karah Sanford, Calif 214 (-2)
- 15-16 years old: Elizabeth Wang, Calif 217 (+1)
- 17-18 years old: Haley Moore, Calif 210 (-6)
- 19-23 years old: Jennifer Kupcho, Colo 214 (-2)
Presenting the Kachina awards were Thunderbird Foundation Representatives Cheryl Ruggerio and John Bridger, Executive Director. The Thunderbirds have long been supporters of the Silver Belle Championship and Junior Golf in Arizona.
46 years ago, founder Joanne Winter had a vision to create an opportunity for young women amateurs 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 and those that existed were age restricted. Since 1971 these young players have had the chance to compete and learn from one another and 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. This year’s event hosted players from as far as Singapore and China. In addition, there are six US players who are ranked in the top 100 of the World Amateur Golf Rankings –Alyaa Abdulghany, Gabby Barker, Jennifer Kupcho, Haley Moore, Krystal Quihuis, and Alana Uriell.
Many past participants and champions have continued their golf careers by playing on the LPGA or the Legends Tour. These players include: Paula Creamer, Pat Hurst, Cheyenne Woods, Mary Bea Porter-King (1973 Champion), Jenny Lidback (1981 Champion), Danielle Ammaccapane (1984 Champion), Emilee Klein (1991 champion), Yani Tseng (2005 Champion) and Angel Yin (2011 Champion).
For more information and results, please visit www.azsilverbelle.com