Pagdin, Choi earn medalist honors and top-seeds at AJGA Polo Junior
Florida commit Joseph Pagdin <br>(Golfweek Photo)
Florida commit Joseph Pagdin
(Golfweek Photo)

PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL (November 22, 2016) -- Joseph Pagdin of Orlando, tallied four birdies on the back nine to claim medalist honors and the No. 1 seed in match play during the final round of stroke play. Hye-Jin Choi of Gimhae-si, South Korea, took medalist honors in the Girls Division with a 7-under-par 137 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 4-over-par 147 in the Boys Division and 6-over-par 150 in the Girls Division.

Pagdin, originally from the United Kingdom, will look to become the first stroke-play medalist in the Boys Division to win the Polo Golf Junior Classic since Brian Watts in 1984. His 6-under-par 137 total is tied for the lowest stroke-play Boys Division total at the Polo Golf Junior Classic since it has been held at PGA National Resort & Spa.

“I did the same thing as I did yesterday; after nine holes I just started clicking with my putter,” Pagdin said. “I drained a few putts and after that I just took off. I love match play, it’s one of my favorite parts of golf, so I’m excited.”

First-round leader Karl Vilips of Melbourne, Australia, tied for second with Orlando’s Eugene Hong with 4-under-par 139s. LSU commits Philip Barbaree of Shreveport, Louisiana, and Trey Winstead of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, tied for fourth at 3-under-par 140 and earned the Nos. 4 and 5 seeds, respectively.

Won Jun Lee and Khavish Varadan of Wesley Chapel, Florida, and Brandon Gillis of Nashua, New Hampshire, gained entry to match play in a one-hole playoff. As a whole, the 32 Boys Division players remaining will look to join the likes of Tiger Woods, Trevor Immelman and Hunter Mahan as champions of the Polo Golf Junior Classic.

Choi tied for the low round of the day with a 5-under-par 67 on her way to medalist honors. Choi birdied four of her first five holes to earn the early advantage. Choi is playing in her first AJGA Invitational after reaching the semifinals of this year’s U.S. Girls' Junior Championship.

“After getting my rhythm early, I just wanted to stay in it,” Choi said. “Stroke play isn’t as important as match play, but it was good to get two extra rounds of practice going into match play.”

Newly-honored Rolex Junior Player of the Year Paphangkorn Tavatanakit of Bangkok, Thailand, also carded a 5-under-par 67 to claim the No. 2 seed in the Girls Division with a 6-under-par 138 total. The last Rolex Junior Player of the Year to win the Polo Golf Junior Classic was Ariya Jutanugarn in 2012. Jutanugarn was recently named the 2016 LPGA Player of the Year.

Youngin Chun of Gainesville, Florida, earned the No. 3 seed after riding her first-round 3-under-par 69 to a 3-under-par 141. A trio of former Wyndham Cup participants tied for fourth. Alyaa Abdulghany of Newport Beach, California; Jaravee Boonchant of Bradenton, Florida; and Emilia Migliaccio of Cary, North Carolina; posted matching 2-under-par 142s.

Rachel Kuehn of Asheville, North Carolina; Mathilde Claisse of Poissy, France; Brooke Seay of Rancho Santa Fe, California; Frida Kinhult of Fiskebäckskil, Sweden; Beatrice Wallin of Olofstorp, Sweden; all played their way into Girls Division match play in a 7-for-5 playoff that lasted five holes. The 32 remaining girls will look to etch their names in the Polo Golf Junior Classic record book alongside former champions Vicki Goetze, Ariya Jutanugarn, Morgan Pressel and Lexi Thompson.

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.

View Complete Tournament Information

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