Galdiano, Lee medal at AJGA Polo Golf Junior
S.M. Lee
S.M. Lee

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Mariel Galdiano of Pearl City, Hawaii, and S.M. Lee of Buford, Georgia, earned medalist honors after 36 holes of stroke play and will be the No. 1 seeds when match play begins Wednesday at the Polo Golf Junior Classic. Galdiano finished at 8-under-par 136 after carding a second-round 65 on the Fazio Course, while S.M. Lee closed with a 1-under-par 70 on the Champion Course and earned the top seed with a 4-under-par 139 total.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Polo Golf Junior Classic is being played at PGA National Resort & Spa. The 156-player invitation-only field was cut to the top 32 players in each division, with their 36-hole scores determining seeding in match play. The cut fell at 7-over-par in the Boys Division and 8-over-par in the Girls Division.

Galdiano earned the top seed a year after advancing to the Round of 16 as the No. 8 seed. Her second-round 65 on the Fazio Course included eight birdies, and it’s the lowest 18-hole score in the Girls Division since 2009 when the tournament moved to PGA National Resort & Spa.

“The wind was very difficult and I was just hitting it on the green and making the putts,” said Galdiano, who is a three-time Rolex Junior All-American. “It's such a great honor and I'm really happy that I shot this low, but as always there's still room for improvement.”

Hannah O’Sullivan of Chandler, Arizona, is the reigning Rolex Junior Player of the Year and earned the No. 24 seed, while defending champion Sierra Brooks of Sorrento, Florida, earned the No. 4 seed. In all, the 32-player bracket will include the 11 highest ranked players in the field, each of whom is No. 15 or better in the Polo Golf Rankings.

S.M. Lee birdied two of his final three holes to earn medalist honors by one stroke over Won Jun Lee of Wesley Chapel, Florida, and Matthew Wolff of Agoura Hills, California. Lee carded three top 10s and one AJGA win in 2015, and at Wyndham Cup in July, he tallied a 3-1-0 match play record for the East Team.

“What I think about match play is play safe, always watch the other player first and play smart. That's my goal for the rest of the week,” said Lee, who will face Ahmed Ali of Palo Alto, California, Wednesday morning in the first round.

Like in the Girls Division, both the reigning Rolex Junior Player of the Year and the defending champion advanced to match play. Philip Barbaree of Shreveport, Louisiana, will be the No. 6 seed, while Spencer Soosman of Westlake Village, California, will begin his title defense as the No. 19 seed. In all, the 32-player bracket will include the 10 highest ranked players in the field, each of whom is No. 12 or better in the Polo Golf Rankings.

The first round of match play will begin at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, with the Girls Division playing the Fazio Course and the Boys Division playing the Champion Course. All subsequent matches will be played on the Champion Course. First- and second-round matches will be played Wednesday, quarterfinal and semifinal matches will be played Thursday, and championship matches will be played Friday.

ABOUT THE Polo Junior Classic

One of the AJGA series of tournaments that require an invitation to participate. Format is 72 holes of stroke play, with a cut after 54 holes. Open to boys and girls aged 12-19.

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