POLO GOLF JUNIOR CLASSIC
PGA National Resort & Spa
Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. • November 20 - 26
Kim, Proveaux Advance to Boys' Finals; Chung, Green Advance to Girls' Finals
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Michael Kim of Del Mar, Calif., and Cody Proveaux of Leesville, S.C., won two matches Thursday and earned spots in the boys' final at the Polo Golf Junior Classic. Karen Chung of Livingston, N.J., and Jaye Marie Green of Boca Raton, Fla., will compete for the girls' crown Friday at PGA National Resort & Spa.
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. Former champions include Stewart Cink (1989), Trevor Immelman (1995), Tiger Woods (1991), Paula Creamer (2002), Grace Park (1994, 1996) and Morgan Pressel (2004).
Kim and Proveaux punched their ticket to the championship match via victories over two of junior golf's biggest names. Kim toppled top-seeded Emiliano Grillo of Bradenton, Fla., in the quarterfinals before defeating Jonathan Garrick of Atherton, Calif., 1-up, in the semifinals.
“Coming into it I was the underdog, so I just wanted to have fun and see what happens,” said Kim, who won 4 and 3 over Grillo. “I hit the ball really well; I think it's one of the best ball-striking days I've had.”
On the other side of the bracket, Proveaux defeated Michael Bernard of Huber Heights, Ohio, in the quarterfinals, which set-up a showdown with Rolex Junior Player of the Year Anthony Paolucci of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
“I knew who he was and that he is a really great player, and I knew I had to play my best,” Proveaux said.
Proveaux won the first hole and never looked back, and after winning Nos. 10-12, Proveaux was able to close out a 5-and-4 victory over the top-ranked player in the Polo Golf Rankings.
“It felt really good to beat him 5 and 4 knowing that he is the Rolex Player of the Year and that he is one of the best players in the world,” Proveaux said. “It really gives me a boost of confidence going into the finals.”
On the girls' side, Green advanced to the finals by controlling momentum from the start. She has won the opening hole in each of her four matches and has never trailed. Green defeated Kelli Oride of Lihue, Hawaii, 5 and 4, in the quarterfinals, and then defeated Jessica Vasilic of Anaheim Hills, Calif., 2 and 1, in the semifinals.
Chung's path to the finals included wins over 12th-ranked Erynne Lee of Silverdale, Wash., and 15th-ranked Tiffany Lim of San Jose, Calif. In her semifinal match against Lim, neither player led by more than a 1-up margin and the match wasn't decided until Chung made par on the second extra hole.
“Tiffany is like my sister, so we were encouraging each other when the other lost a hole, so it was a lot of fun,” said Chung, who is No. 11 in the Polo Golf Rankings.
The boys' championship match will begin at 8 a.m. Friday, while the girls' championship match will begin at 8:15 a.m. For more information, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (561) 627-2000, ext. 6450, or visit ajga.org.
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.
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Quarterfinal and semifinal results of match play from the Polo Golf Junior Classic conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at PGA National Resort & Spa — Champion Course. Boys: Par: 35-36—71; Yardage: 6,961; Rating/Slope: 74.1/141, Girls: Par: 36-36—71; Yardage: 6,076; Rating/Slope: 74.9/141.