PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Ryan Gerard of Raleigh, North Carolina, earned his first AJGA Invitational victory at the Polo Golf Junior Classic by defeating Cooper Dossey of Austin, Texas, 2 and 1. In the Girls Division, Muni He of Rancho Santa Fe, California, defeated Mariel Galdiano of Pearl City, Hawaii, 3 and 1 at PGA National Resort & Spa.
Through 14 holes, each player had won four holes in a back-and-forth match. Gerard went 1-up when Dossey conceded on No. 15 and Gerard held on to win the match on the 17th hole. The victory was the second of Gerard’s AJGA career as he won the 2015 Midwest Junior Players Championship. The 16-year-old is verbally committed to the University of North Carolina.
“It hasn’t really hit me yet, but it’s really cool when you put the magnitude of the win into perspective,” Gerard said. “It was really tough today. Today wasn’t the windiest, but the hole locations were the toughest and all the tees were all the way back, but I was playing Cooper, not the course.”
He and Galdiano’s match also went 17 holes. The competitors battled until No. 6 when He went 1-up and took control of the match. Like Gerard, the win was He’s first AJGA Invitational victory.
At the 2014 Polo Golf Junior Classic, He reached the Round of 16, but was defeated by Ana Paula Valdes. The USC verbal commit was excited to finally finish a match play tournament with a win.
“I’m just so blessed and honored to be able to experience this. I’ve never come this far in an AJGA or USGA match play event so I’m very proud of myself right now,” He said. “I’m very excited about next year. I think I’ve grown and matured a lot over the past year. Coming into the tournament, I didn’t put an expectation on myself so it’s really great to end up where I am right now.”
View results for AJGA Polo Junior Classic Golf Tournament