FOWLER RACES TO FINALS, WILL MEET HOFFMANN FRIDAY AT THE POLO GOLF JUNIOR CLASSIC
SEA ISLAND , Ga. – The match-play finals of the Polo Golf Junior Classic will be a fierce battle in both the Boys and Girls Divisions as the players go head-to-head for the first title of the 2007 American Junior Golf Association season. In the Boys Division, Rickie Fowler of Murrieta, Calif., will meet up with Morgan Hoffmann of Wyckoff, N.J., at Sea Island Golf Club. Rolex Junior Player of the Year Esther Choe of Scottsdale, Ariz., will take on Cydney Clanton of Concord, N.C., during the Polo Golf Junior Classic finals.
The Polo Golf Junior Classic, which has been conducted annually since 1978, marks the first tournament of the AJGA’s 2007 season. The stroke play portion of the tournament included 162 boys and girls ages 12-18 from 29 states and seven foreign countries. Former champions include Stewart Cink (1989), Trevor Immelman (1995), Tiger Woods (1991), Paula Creamer (2002), Grace Park (1994, 1996) and Morgan Pressel (2004).
In the morning matches, Fowler took down Rolex Junior Player of the Year Philip Francis of Scottsdale, Ariz., to advance to the semifinals. He then faced the 2005 Rolex Junior Player of the Year Peter Uihlein of Bradenton, Fla., where his game took off. He began his round with seven consecutive birdies and was able to go 5-up after seven holes. Uihlein held strong, but was unable to make the comeback needed and eventually lost 5 and 4.
“I started hitting it good in the afternoon,” stated Fowler. “This is the first time I made it to the finals of match play, so tomorrow should be fun.”
Fowler, the No. 2 ranked junior boy according to the Polo Golf Rankings, will face-off against Hoffmann in the finals. Hoffmann had a stellar morning, defeating Lion Kim of Lake Mary, Fla., 4 and 3. He then had a tough time against the No. 4 ranked junior boy in the Polo Golf Rankings Andrew Yun of Tacoma, Wash. After hitting two balls into the hazard on No. 16, Hoffmann knew he had to pull together in order to win the match.
“On No. 17, I had to do something,” said the 17-year-old. “I told myself ‘this is it.’ I hit it close and drained it to go all-square.”
After lipping out a putt on No. 18 to win the match, Hoffmann and Yun went to extra holes where Hoffmann birdied the 19th hole for the win.
In the Girls Division, Clanton defeated Kylie Fuller of Temecula, Calif., during the quarterfinals and then faced Won Joo Choi, also of Temecula, in the afternoon. Clanton had to come from behind in order to pull through with the victory.
“I was two down at one point,” said Clanton. “I started hitting the fairways and was confident that I would be able to pull through.”
Choe played Marta Silva Zamora of Santiago, Spain, during the quarterfinals and defeated her 3 and 1 on the way to facing off against Stephanie Kono of Honolulu, in the afternoon. After a grueling afternoon battle, Choe defeated Kono on the 21st hole after carding a birdie.
“This was some of the most fun I had playing out there,” said Choe. “I don’t always have the best record at Polo so it is great to be in the finals tomorrow.”
The finals of the Polo Golf Junior Classic will begin Friday, November 24 at 8 a.m. off the No. 1 tee at Sea Island Golf Club’s Seaside Course.
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The AJGA, the largest Association of its kind, has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and 30 foreign countries.
Titleist, the AJGA’s National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association’s success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA , which is in its third decade of support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 wins. AJGA alumni include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome and Morgan Pressel.
Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation is a leader in the design, marketing and distribution of premium lifestyle products in four categories: apparel, home, accessories and fragrances. For more than 39 years, Polo's reputation and distinctive image have been consistently developed across an expanding number of products, brands and international markets. The Company's brand names, which include “Polo by Ralph Lauren,” “Ralph Lauren Purple Label,” “Ralph Lauren,” “Black Label,” “Blue Label,” “Lauren by Ralph Lauren,” “Polo Jeans Co.,” “RRL,” “RLX,” “Rugby,” “RL Childrenswear,” “Chaps,” and “Club Monaco” among others, constitute one of the world's most widely recognized families of consumer brands. For more information, go to http://investor.polo.com.
For more information about the Polo Golf Junior Classic, contact Drea Braxmeier in tournament communications at (610) 417-1107 or visit the tournament Web site at http://www.ajga.org/2006polo.