Champions Karl Vilips (L) and Youngin Chun (R)
RINGOES, NJ (June 30, 2017) - Karl Vilips of (Australia) Wesley Chapel, Florida, and Youngin Chun of Gainesville, Florida, etched their names into history as the champions of the 39th Polo Golf Junior Classic.
Vilips, a Stanford University commit, started the final round with a seven-stroke lead over Cole Hammer of Houston, and Joe Highsmith of Lakewood, Washington. He extended his advantage to 8-up on No. 3, before Prescott Butler of Old Westbury, New York, made a charge and cut the lead to four. Butler birdied Nos. 4 and 5 to inch his way closer. Vilips went on to par Nos. 14-18 to go wire-to-wire and earn his first-place finish after a final-round 1-over-par 73.
Vilips is currently No. 7 in the AJGA Rankings. He carded 20 birdies over four rounds for a tournament-total 8-under-par 280.
“This win feels great,” says Vilips. “Coming in, I knew I still had to play my game and that was my mentality all day. This is my first win this year. It means a lot because everything is starting to fall into place and all of my hard work is paying off.
“I have gotten four-straight AJGA top ten finishes and now this is my fifth,” The Stanford commit said. “I am blessed.”
Youngin Chun rose to victory after trailing Gina Kim of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Jennifer Chang of Cary, North Carolina, by two strokes. The No. 8 ranked junior sealed her win with two consecutive birdies on Nos. 15 and 16 for a tournament-total 3-under-par 285. This is the 17-year-old’s fifth victory in her five-year AJGA career.
“This is my first Invitational win,” says Chun. “Being two behind Kim and Chang, I knew I had to make pars and hit it straight all day. I just played my own game.”
"Polo seems to be my best tournament after my second-place finish last year and now finishing with the win", says Chun. “I am thankful for this awesome course, the great volunteers and this tournament.”
The Polo Golf Junior Classic is one of the two longest-running events on the AJGA schedule, along with the Rolex Tournament of Champions. Both Invitationals started in 1978, the AJGA’s first year, and have continued ever since. Notable champions over the past 39 years include Stewart Cink, Paula Creamer, Heather Farr, Trevor Immelman, Hunter Mahan, Morgan Pressel, Lexi Thompson and Tiger Woods.
ABOUT THE Polo Junior Classic
Sixty-four top junior golfers will be invited to
in a round-robin style
match play event. Based on the Rolex AJGA
an equal field of 32
boys (Polo Division) and 32 girls (Liberty Division)
be divided into eight
groupings of four players each to compete in three
matches. The top eight Polo Division boys and
Division girls from each
group after pool play will advance to single-
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