PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (Nov. 26, 2014) — Top-seeded Sam Horsfield of Davenport, Florida, posted consecutive 6 & 4 wins in the first two rounds of match play at the Polo Golf Junior Classic, and punched his ticket to Thursday’s quarterfinals. Lauren Stephenson of Lexington, South Carolina, notched back-to-back victories to earn her first Polo Golf Junior Classic quarterfinals appearance.
The Polo Golf Junior Classic, which has been conducted annually since 1978, marks the first tournament of the American Junior Golf Association's 2015 season. Former champions include Stewart Cink (1989), Trevor Immelman (1995), Tiger Woods (1991), Paula Creamer (2002), Grace Park (1994, 1996) and Morgan Pressel (2004).
Held on two courses, the Boys Division played the Champion Course (7,097 yards, par 71) for the first and second rounds, while the Girls Division played the Fazio Course (6,310 yards, par 72) for the first round and the Champion Course (6,377 yards, par 72) for the second round. All remaining matches will be contested on the Champion Course.
Horsfield, who earned stroke play medalist honors, took the lead in his first match on the third hole and never trailed for the remainder of the day. With decisive 6 & 4 victories over Jake DeZoort of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Davis Shore of Knoxville, Tennessee, Horsfield was the first to secure his spot in Thursday’s quarterfinals. At No. 3 in the Polo Golf Rankings, the Florida Gator signee will return to the quarterfinals for the second year in a row.
“I played pretty well both rounds,” Horsfield said. “I’m happy to get through the two rounds; it was a long day, so it feels good. I didn’t get to play any of the Bear Trap today which is too bad, especially heading into the later rounds and possibly having to play that, but it was good to get done early and rest up.”
Matthew Wolff of Agoura Hills, California, found success at his first Polo Golf Junior Classic, tallying a 2 & 1 victory over Doc Redman of Raleigh, North Carolina, in the round of 32 and defeating Cooper Dossey of Austin, Texas, 1-Up in the round of 16. The high school sophomore is in his first year with the AJGA and earned the four seed after finishing T4 during stroke play.
Defending champion Cameron Young of Scarborough, New York, defeated Brent Ito of Ardsley, New York, 7 & 5, before outlasting Braden Thornberry of Olive Branch, Mississippi, with a 2-Up victory.
Also advancing to the quarterfinals in the Boys Division are Jack Comstock of Jacksonville, Florida, Zachary Bauchou of Forest, Virginia, Jorge Garcia of Miami, Spencer Soosman of Westlake Village, California, and Rolex Junior Player of the Year Sam Burns, of Shreveport, Louisiana.
After first-round match play defeats in 2012 and 2013, Stephenson punched her ticket to the quarterfinals for the first time with wins over Isabella Fierro of Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico, 2-Up, and Bailey Tardy of Norcross, Georgia, 3 & 2. The future Clemson Tiger is No. 5 in the Polo Golf Rankings.
“These courses are so tough and in my morning match I didn’t play that well, I scrambled around,” Stephenson said. “In the afternoon, I had to play Bailey [Tardy] and she’s one of my best friends so that was kind of hard. We both played so well and I think it was only one time that either of us won with a par. But it was really fun out there. I really enjoyed it.
“I just want to play my best and have fun because this is my last Polo and this is the farthest I’ve ever made it and I’m just so glad to be here. It’s a great opportunity and a great memory for my last year.”
As the No. 6 seed, Mexico’s Ana Paula Valdes is the next-highest seeded girl to advance to Thursday. During her Polo Golf Junior Classic debut, the future Clemson Tiger downed Agathe Laisne of Paris, France, 1-Up, and Muni He of Rancho Santa Fe, California, 2 & 1.
Every quarterfinals match in the Girls Bracket has a player seeded No. 17 or higher, which marks the first time since 2009 the bottom half of the match play bracket has been represented in such numbers.
Ariadna Fonseca of Windermere, Florida, Bethany Wu of Diamond Bar, California, Binny Lee of Frisco, Texas, Sierra Brooks of Sorrento, Florida, Mary Janiga of Wellington, Florida, and Alyaa Abdulghany of Newport Beach, California, also advanced to the quarterfinals.
Quarterfinals matches will begin at 7:30 a.m., while the semifinals will be determined following play and contested Thursday afternoon.
View results for AJGA Polo Junior Classic Golf Tournament