PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.— Jacob Bergeron of Slidell, Louisiana, and Hye-Jin Choi of Gimhae-si, South Korea, etched their names into history as the champions of the 39th Polo Golf Junior Classic Friday at PGA National Resort & Spa.
Bergeron, an LSU commit, started the morning with a birdie on No. 1 to take the early lead against Davis Shore of Knoxville, Tennessee. He extended his advantage to 2-up on No. 4, before Shore fought back to make it 1-up. Shore birdied Nos. 9 and 10 to take the advantage 1-up. The Alabama commit, playing in his last AJGA event, pushed the lead to 2-up before Bergeron won the next two holes to square it up heading into No. 16. A par for Bergeron on No. 17 gave him the Dormie 1 lead, and a pair of pars secured him his first AJGA career victory 1-up. During his five rounds of match play, Bergeron defeated both the No. 1 and No. 2-ranked players in the Polo Golf Rankings.
“At this point last year, if you would have told me I would have gotten into this tournament, I probably would have gotten really excited and not believed you,” Bergeron said. “This win means the world to me. It’s taken a lot of hard work and patience. To win here, at a PGA TOUR venue, means a heck of a lot to me.”
Choi, in her AJGA debut, earned stroke-play medalist honors Tuesday with a 7-under-par 137 tournament total on the Fazio and Champion courses. The U.S. Girls Junior Championship semifinalist took on Youngin Chun of Gainesville, Florida, and went 1-down on the first hole of play. Chun pushed the lead to 2-up making the turn, but Choi turned on the heat by winning four out of five holes to go from 2-down to 2-up. Chun made it interesting, however, pulling within one on the par-4 No. 16, before Choi closed the match on No. 17 2&1. Choi is the first player since Jung Min Lee in 2008 to win the Polo Golf Junior Classic in her AJGA debut and the first since Ariya Jutanugarn in 2012 to win both the stroke play and match play titles.
“I’m so happy to win this tournament,” Choi said. “My stroke play was good, but match play was not easy. I enjoyed my play, and that’s what made me win.”
The Polo Golf Junior Classic is one of the two longest-running events on the AJGA schedule, along with the Rolex Tournament of Champions. Both Invitationals started in 1978, the AJGA’s first year, and have continued ever since. Notable champions over the past 38 years include Stewart Cink, Paula Creamer, Heather Farr, Trevor Immelman, Hunter Mahan, Morgan Pressel, Lexi Thompson and Tiger Woods.
About Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren Corporation (NYSE: RL) is a global leader in the design, marketing and distribution of premium lifestyle products in four categories: apparel, home, accessories and fragrances. For more than 48 years, Ralph Lauren'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 Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Ralph Lauren Collection, Double RL, Ralph Lauren Black Label, Polo Ralph Lauren, Polo Sport, Polo Ralph Lauren Children’s, Ralph Lauren Home, Lauren Ralph Lauren, RLX, Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren, American Living, Chaps and Club Monaco, constitute one of the world's most widely recognized families of consumer brands. For more information, go to http://investor.ralphlauren.com.
About the American Junior Golf Association
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 more than 6,300 members from 48 states and more than 50 foreign countries. Through initiatives like the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant, a financial assistance program, and Leadership Links, a service-oriented platform that teaches juniors charitable-giving skills, the AJGA fosters the growth of golf’s next generation.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 600 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Jordan Spieth, Brandt Snedeker, Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson, Hunter Mahan, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Stacy Lewis, Vicky Hurst, Inbee Park, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Brittany Lincicome and Morgan Pressel.