POLO GOLF JUNIOR CLASSIC
PGA National Resort & Spa
Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. • November 20 - 26
Marquee Matchups and Upsets Highlight First- and Second-Round Matches at the Polo Golf Junior Classic
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Jessica Vasilic of Anaheim Hills, Calif., defeated the No. 1 seed in the Girls Division, Moriya Jutanugarn of Bangkok, Thailand, on Wednesday, the first day of match play. In the Boys Division, Anthony Paolucci of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., survived two tough matches on his way to the quarterfinals on Thursday.
The Polo Golf Junior Classic, which has been conducted annually since 1978, marks the first tournament of the American Junior Golf Association's 2011 season. The 156-player invitation-only field is made up of 78 boys and 78 girls, ages 12-18, from 26 states and 10 foreign countries. After 36 holes of stroke play, the field was cut to the top 32 boys and 32 girls for match play. Former champions include Stewart Cink (1989), Trevor Immelman (1995), Tiger Woods (1991), Paula Creamer (2002), Grace Park (1994, 1996) and Morgan Pressel (2004).
During Wednesday's first and second rounds of match play, the Boys Division played the Champion Course (6,884 yards, par 71), while the Girls Division played the Haig Course (6,201 yards, par 72) and Champion Course (6,037 yards, par 72).
After Vasilic won her first-round match 5 and 4, she was presented a difficult task in taking down Jutanugarn, who had her own momentum coming into match play. The girls moved over to the Champion Course for the second round of match play and started on the back nine. Vasilic took control of the match after going 2-under-par on the infamous “Bear Trap” (Nos. 15-17), which gave her a four-hole advantage making the turn.
“I had been hitting my driver really well, but my putting has been a lot better this week so I was making pretty much everything out there, which helped me a lot,” Vasilic said. “It feels pretty good (to beat the No. 1 seed) and it gives me a lot of confidence for tomorrow.”
A day of upsets in the Girls Division also included the Rolex Junior Player of the Year, Kristen Park of Buena Park, Calif., falling to Marijosse Navarro of San Antonio. Of the five first-team Rolex Junior All-Americans that advanced to match play, none will be competing on day two. Instead there will be a number of fresh faces moving on to the quarterfinals Thursday.
The Boys Division was highlighted by the Rolex Junior Player of the Year facing off against two fellow first-team Rolex Junior All-Americans in Beau Hossler of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., and Patrick Rodgers of Avon, Ind. In Paolucci's first match against Hossler, the two battled back and forth with Paolucci winning two holes late in the match to win 2 and 1. Against Rodgers, Paolucci was able to capitalize on two early birdies and seize the momentum of the match. However, he knew that Rodgers was capable of mounting a comeback.
“I had the momentum most of the day,” Paolucci said. “I was still waiting for the match to go 18 holes or even extras just because of who I was playing. With 32 people making the cut you know you're going to be playing good players, which is such a good test for everyone.”
Making their way into the quarterfinals were many top seeds including stroke play medalist Emiliano Grillo (No. 1), Cody Proveaux (No. 2), Daniel Berger (No. 3), defending champion Oliver Schniederjans (No. 4) and Jonathan Garrick (No. 5). With a lot of firepower heading into the second day of match play, there should be plenty of high-drama matches upcoming in the quarterfinals and semifinals.
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 provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and 30 countries. To ensure scholarship opportunities for all junior golfers who have the skill, the AJGA created the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program to provide financial assistance to young players in need.
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 AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner. In 2010, BMW of North America, LLC, will serve as the Official Transportation Provider of the Polo Golf Junior Classic and will be conducting a test drive program at the event from Nov. 19-23.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 400 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Stewart Cink, Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel.
Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation (NYSE: RL) is a leader in the design, marketing and distribution of premium lifestyle products in four categories: apparel, home, accessories and fragrances. For more than 40 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 Collection”, “Black Label”, “Blue Label”, “Lauren by Ralph Lauren”, “Polo Jeans Co.”, “RRL”, “RLX”, “Rugby”, “Ralph Lauren Childrenswear”, “American Living”, “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.ralphlauren.com.
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group's global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car centers, 336 BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 143 BMW motorcycle retailers, 100 MINI passenger car dealers, and 31 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group's sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at: www.bmwgroupna.com.
Quarterfinal matches will run from 7:30 to 8:40 a.m. off the No. 1 tee of the Champion Course, while semifinal matches are set to begin around noon off the No. 1 tee. For more information, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (561) 627-2000, ext. 6450.
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Day one match play results from the Polo Golf Junior Classic conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at PGA National Resort & Spa — Champion Course. Note: The Girls Division played its first-round matches on the Haig Course. All subsequent matches will be played on the Champion Course.
Boys — Champion: Par: 35-36—71; Yardage: 6,884; Rating/Slope: 74.2/147