Jersey City, NJ – 16 teed off this morning in the Polo Golf Junior Classic at Liberty National semifinal matches for one of four spots in the championship matches on Friday.
In the first match of the Polo Division, Ben James of Milford, Connecticut, went head-to-head against Frankie Harris of Boca Raton, Florida. James pulled ahead early taking a three-hole lead through the first three holes. James and Harris tied several holes over the next 10 holes, until James secured his lead on No. 14 with a par and then a birdie on No. 15. The match finished on No. 15, with James 5-up on Harris, moving him onto the Friday championship match.
Quarterfinal winners Nicholas Dunlap of Huntsville, Alabama, and Maxwell Ford of Peachtree Corners, Georgia, played 19 holes before Dunlap advanced to the championship match after a one-hole playoff. Dunlap took the lead early in the round, winning five out six down the front nine. Ford won four of the next seven holes, making the match all square through No. 13. Dunlap went 1-up on hole No. 14 and held that on Nos. 15 and 16. Ford holed-out from 140 yards on No. 17 for eagle to return the match to all-square Dunlap. Both players scored a par on 18, forcing them to an immediate playoff on No. 1. Dunlap advanced to the championship round after beating Ford on No. 1 by two strokes. Dunlap who is 5-0 this week in match play will take on fellow 2022 graduate Ben James.
In the Liberty Division, Megha Ganne of Holmdel, New Jersey and Katie Li of Basking Ridge, New Jersey, played a full 18 holes to decide who would make the championship match. After being all square through Nos. 13 - 16, Li birdied No. 17, to go 1-up heading to No. 18. The 2023 graduate advanced to the championship round after halving No. 18 with Ganne and remaining 1-up on the day.
The final match of the day between Kiara Romero of San Jose, California, and Brooke Biermann of Wildwood, Missouri, also took the full 18 holes to decide the final spot in the championship match. Romero took the match lead from the start and remained 1 or 2-up on Biermann until hole No. 13 when the match was all square for the first time. Biermann went on to go 1-up on holes No. 14, 16, and 17. Romero halved the No. 18 forcing a playoff with Biermann. The one-hole playoff went to Romero after a par to Biermann’s bogey. Romero will face Li in the championship match Friday.
James, Dunlap, Romero and Li will look to add their name alongside 41 years of noteworthy past champions that includes Tiger Woods, Trevor Immelman, Stewart Cink, Brian Harman, Morgan Hoffman and Matthew NeSmith in the Polo Division. In the Liberty Division side, Vicki Goetze, Grace Park, Paula Creamer, Morgan Pressel, Ariya Jutanugarn, and Sierra Brooks.
Championship matches will be conducted on Friday, July 2 with the boys championship match at 7 a.m. ET and the girls championship match at 7:12 a.m. ET off Liberty National Golf Course No. 1.
About Liberty National Golf Club
Liberty National Golf Club located on the banks of the Hudson River in New Jersey opened in 2006. The course designed by Bob Cupp and World Golf Hall of Famer Tom Kite has played host to many PGA TOUR events over the years including The Barclays, The Northern Trust and the 2017 Presidents Cup. The views from the course are often referred to as the “best skyline in sports” with views of lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.
About Polo Ralph Lauren
Polo Ralph Lauren, a premium lifestyle brand, has been a partner for more than three decades. Since 1995, Polo Ralph Lauren has supported junior golfers who become the next generation of college graduates and business leaders. Every week through AJGA social and digital content, Polo Ralph Lauren celebrates the top performances of AJGA members worldwide, through Polo Ralph Lauren #InspiredPerformances. Polo Ralph Lauren has hosted the Polo Golf Junior Classic, an Invitational dating back to 1978 and one of the longest-running events in AJGA history.