PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Rolex Junior
Player of the Year Scott Scheffler of Dallas,
posted decisive victories in his first two
matches to advance to Thursday’s
quarterfinals. Stroke play medalist Kristen
Gillman won her pair of matches to punch her
ticket to the quarterfinals in the Girls Division.
The Polo Golf Junior Classic, which has been
conducted annually since 1978, marks the first
tournament of the American Junior Golf
Association's 2014 season. The 156-player
invitation-only field is made up of 78 boys and
78 girls, ages 13-18, from 27 states and seven
foreign countries. Former champions include
Stewart Cink (1989), Trevor Immelman (1995),
Tiger Woods (1991), Paula Creamer (2002),
Grace Park (1994, 1996) and Morgan Pressel
In the Boys Division, No. 2 seed Scheffler
posted wins of 6 and 4 over No. 31 seed Tony
Gil of Vaughan, Ontario, and 5 and 4 over No.
15 seed Yechun (Carl) Yuan of Lake Mary, Fla.
The future Texas Longhorn is playing in his
second Polo Golf Junior Classic and first match
play event since winning the U.S. Junior
Amateur Championship in July.
“I was playing pretty solid all day and didn’t
make many mistakes,” Scheffler said. “I’m
feeling pretty good since I was so close last
year. I also gained a lot of confidence from the
U.S. Junior (Amateur Championship) and I had
a good summer with match play.”
Scheffler will take on No. 7 seed and United
Kingdom native Sam Horsfield in the
On the opposite side of the bracket,
determination was the theme, as No. 32 seed
Austin Connelly of Irving, Texas, notched wins
over top-seeded Derek Castillo of Yorba Linda,
Calif., and No. 17 seed Hidetoshi Yoshihara of
Irvine, Calif. Connelly earned his way into
match play by way of a seven for six, sudden-
death playoff, taking the final spot in the field
after making par on the first playoff hole.
“I was fairly confident because I played fairly
well during stroke play,” Connelly said.
“I felt good [about the match]
because I was hitting it pretty well, rolling it
pretty good, and Derek is one of my closest
friends. I’ve played with him a lot before.”
Also showing perseverance was No. 5 seed
Cameron Young of Scarborough, N.Y. The 2015
graduate played 38 holes Wednesday,
defeating No. 28 seed Ryan Grider of Lewisville,
Texas, 1-Up, and knocking out No. 21 seed
Andy Zhang of Reunion, Fla., after 20 holes of
In the Girls Division, the drama played out in
the first round of matches as Linnea Ström of
Hovas, Sweden, defeated the only former
champion in the Girls Division in No. 15 seed
Nicole Morales of South Salem, N.Y., 3 and 2.
No. 18 seed Ström would make quick work of
her second match, defeating second-seeded
Michaela Owen, 7 and 6.
The stories continued to unfold throughout the
day as No. 10 seed Bethany Wu of Diamond
Bar, Calif., faced No. 7 seed Angel Yin of
Arcadia, Calif., in the second round. The
match, a rematch of the 2012 Polo Golf Junior
Classic semifinals, saw a different ending than
last year after Wu ended the contest on the
14th hole, winning, 5 and 4.
“After I won my match against Shannon
(Aubert), I knew I was playing Angel (Yin),”
Wu said. “It brought back memories of last
year and I just wanted to beat her this time.
Last year was pretty tough. After I was 1-
down through our first hole, I thought, ‘No, I
need to win.’”
Wu’s match play experience bode her well
coming into her third Polo Golf Junior Classic.
The UCLA verbal commit represented the
United States as a member of the U.S. Team
at the PING Junior Solheim Cup in August and
made a semifinals appearance in the U.S. Girls’
“I played well at U.S. Girls (Junior
Championship) and the PING Junior Solheim
Cup, so I knew it would fit me well coming
back to Polo this year.”
Wu and Ström will face each other in the
Thursday’s quarterfinals. Each have claimed
ANNIKA Invitational titles – Wu, the 2013
ANNIKA Invitational Champion and Ström, the
2012 ANNIKA Invitational Europe victor.
Stroke play medalist Gillman is making her first
appearance at the Polo Golf Junior Classic,
although playing like a seasoned veteran.
“I started playing too aggressively in my first
match, and fell off really bad,” Gillman said.
“So I thought I just need go for the middle of
the green and make par.”
Despite little match play experience, Gillman
transitioned from stroke play to match play
“I’ve only played a few match play events,
maybe 10 rounds,” Gillman said. “But, I still
have the mindset I had when I was playing
stroke play – just play my best golf and have
Top-seeded Gillman will face No. 8 seed Dylan
Kim of Winter Garden, Fla., after winning back-
to-back matches with 5-and-4 decisions.
Also advancing to the quarterfinals are No. 3
seed Sierra Brooks of Sorrento, Fla., No. 11
seed Jillian Hollis of Rocky River, Ohio, No. 13
seed Lakareber Abe of Angleton, Texas, and
No. 21 seed Lilia Vu of Fountain Valley, Calif.
The quarterfinal matches are set for Thursday
morning, while the semifinals will be
Thursday afternoon.View results for Polo Junior Classic