TEMPE, Ariz. - Columbia junior women's golfer Michelle Piyapattra and first-year Spenser Krut will begin competition today, Dec. 28, at the 2012 Joanne Winter Arizona Silver Belle Championship.

Since 1971, the Arizona Silver Belle has been providing the top amateur girls and women, ages 13-23, the opportunity to compete on a national stage in one of the leading golf tournaments in the U.S.

The 54-hole, stroke play tournament boasts a field of 112 of the nation's best junior female golfers on one course. Selection for competition is based on national ranking, handicap, as well as previous tournament information provided through a resume system by each applicant. The field will be flighted according to age: 13-14, 15-16, 17-18 and 19-23. The overall winner may come from any age group. 

Arizona State's Karsten Golf Course will serve as the host venue for this year's event. The par-72 course plays 6,061 yards from the Champion AZ Silverbelle tee.

Piyapattra will be among the second-to-last foursome to tee off today, hitting the links at 1 p.m. EST. For more information regarding the Arizona Silver Belle fans are encouraged to visit The Joanna Winter Arizona Silver Belle Championship official site.