Cooper Dossey downs both 2014 finalists at AJGA Polo Golf Junior
Cooper Dossey
Cooper Dossey

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Defending champion Sierra Brooks of Sorrento, Fla., won two matches Wednesday and advanced to the quarterfinals as the 4-seed at the Polo Golf Junior Classic. Also advancing was Kelsey Zeng of Orlando, Florida, who defeated two first-team Rolex Junior All-Americans en route to her place in the quarterfinals. In the Boys Division, 30-seed Cooper Dossey of Austin, Texas, earned his spot in the final eight after he defeated Matthew Wolff and Spencer Soosman, the two finalists from the 2014 Polo Golf Junior Classic.

In her morning match against Pauline Roussin Bouchard of Carqueiranne, France, Brooks won three holes in a row on the front nine en route to a 2-and-1 victory. She followed a similar script in the afternoon, using four- and three-hole winning streaks to defeat Mathilda Cappeliez of Publier, France, 3 and 2.

In addition to winning five matches at last year’s Polo Golf Junior Classic, Brooks advanced to the finals at the U.S. Women’s Amateur in August and she went 3-0-0 at the PING Junior Solheim Cup in September.

“I enjoy match play, I love it. I’ve played so many match play tournaments, so it’s a lot of fun for me and it’s a format I really like to play,” Brooks said. “(To win again) would mean the world to me, but it’s match play and anything can happen.”

As the No. 31 seed, Zeng had to pass two strong tests in order to advance. In the morning, a birdie on the 17th hole of the match helped her earn a 1-up victory over the 2014 Rolex Junior Player of the Year, Andrea Lee of Hermosa Beach, California. In the afternoon, she won Nos. 16 and 17 en route to a 2-and-1 win over four-time Rolex Junior All-American Angel Yin of Arcadia, California.

“This morning I was just really happy I made the cut, that was my initial goal,” said Zeng, who is No. 55 in the Polo Golf Rankings. “I didn’t have any pressure, my mindset was just to have fun and play best and learn as much as I could.”

The other six quarterfinalists are: 1-seed Mariel Galdiano of Pearl City, Hawaii; 5-seed Kaitlyn Papp of Austin, Texas; 6-seed Kristen Gillman of Austin, Texas; 9-seed Alyaa Abdulghany of Newport Beach, California; 19-seed Muni He of Rancho Santa Fe, California; and 26-seed Emilee Hoffman of Folsom, California.

In the Boys Division, Dossey began his day by exacting revenge on Wolff, who defeated Dossey in the second round of the 2014 Polo Golf Junior Classic. After winning 1-up in the morning, Dossey won four out of seven holes in the middle of his match against defending champion Soosman, leading to a 3-and-2 win.

“This year I've struggled with confidence, and after beating those two, it feels so good,” Dossey said. “On the last green, Spencer told me to believe in myself in the next matches and I think I can do that now.”

The eight quarterfinalists include three players who qualified for match play via a playoff Tuesday evening. In addition to Dossey, 29-seed Aden Ye of Lake Mary, Florida, and 31-seed John Pak of Scotch Plains, New Jersey, also advanced from the 8-for-5 playoff after the second round of stroke play.

The other five quarterfinalists are: 5-seed Ryan Gerard of Raleigh, North Carolina; 7-seed Nate Menon of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania; 11-seed Ryan Grider of Lewisville, Texas; 17-seed Norman Xiong of Canyon Lake, California; and 25-seed William Buhl of Fairhope, Alabama.

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 after 36 holes of stroke play. In the first round of match play, the Girls Division played the Fazio Course and the Boys Division played the Champion Course. All second-round matches were played on the Champion Course.

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ABOUT THE Polo Junior Classic

Sixty-four top junior golfers will be invited to compete in a round-robin style match play event. Based on the Rolex AJGA Rankings, an equal field of 32 boys (Polo Division) and 32 girls (Liberty Division) will be divided into eight groupings of four players each to compete in three guaranteed singles matches. The top eight Polo Division boys and Liberty Division girls from each group after pool play will advance to single- elimination matches.

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