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Li, Moldovan win Polo Golf Junior Classic at Liberty National
Polo winners (AJGA photo)
Polo winners (AJGA photo)

The Championship match of the 42nd annual Polo Golf Junior Classic finished at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey, with Maxwell Moldovan of Uniontown, Ohio, and Lucy Li of Redwood Shores, California, crowned as the champions.

Polo Division – Boys

Maxwell Moldovan of Uniontown, Ohio, defeated Taehoon Song of (South Korea) Buena Park, California, 3 and 2. Moldovan, currently ranked No. 21 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, took the lead early after Song doubled his first hole. The pair halved their next four holes. Song went birdie, birdie on Nos. 6 and 7 to take back a 1-up lead. Moldovan answered with back-to-back birdies on the following two holes reclaiming his 1-up advantage as they made the turn. Making birdies on three of his next six holes, Moldovan went 3-up stymie as the duo made their way to the 16th hole. Moldovan parred the par-3 and secured his title, 2019 Polo Golf Junior Classic Boy’s Champion.

“Those big names that are on the trophy are guys that I look up to, names like Tiger and Stewart Cink and those big names,” Moldovan said. “It’s really special to put my name on a trophy next to theirs and hopefully I can do some more of that in the future. It’s just a real blessing to get the opportunity to win it this week!”

Alexander Yang of Carlsbad, California, defeated. Bo Peng of (China) Lake Mary, Florida, 3 and 2. Yang, currently ranked No. 11 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, set the tone when he claimed a 3-up advantage in his first four holes. Peng fought back, and it was all square by the time they rounded their first nine. Yang finished as strong as he started gaining back his initial 3-up lead over the course of their final seven holes.

Liberty Division – Girls Division

Rachel Kuehn of Asheville, North Carolina, defeated Brianna Navarrosa of San Diego, 2 and 1. Kuehn, currently ranked No. 58 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, was neck-and-neck with Navarrosa throughout their entire front-nine. Kuehn birdied two of her next three holes to go 2-up on Navarrosa. Kuehn fought hard and held her 2-up lead through the end of their match.

Lucy Li of Redwood Shores, California defeated Savannah Grewal of (Canada) Mississauga, Ontario, 5 and 3. Li, currently ranked No. 6 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, started the match 1-down to Grewal after a bogey on her first hole. Li forged on and battled back over her next eight holes to turn the tables on Grewal and gain a 2-up advantage going into their tenth hole. Stable and consistent, Li birdied four of her remaining six holes, including par-4 No. 15, where she would claim her victory over Grewal and her title, Polo Golf Junior Classic Girl’s Champion.

“Well obviously winning any AJGA Invitational is a huge honor, especially this tournament,” Li said. “Looking at the trophy there are so many crazy names on there like Tiger Woods and it just feels really good to be back in the winner’s circle again.”

Championship Match
Polo Division – Boys
Maxwell Moldovan, Uniontown, Ohio (2020), def. Taehoon Song, (South Korea) Buena Park, Calif. (2020), 3&2
Alexander Yang, Carlsbad, Calif. (2021), def. Bo Peng, (China) Lake Mary, Fla. (2019), 3&2
Liberty Division – Girls Division
Rachel Kuehn, Asheville, N.C. (2019), def. Brianna Navarrosa, San Diego, Calif. (2020), 2&1
Lucy Li, Redwood Shores, Calif. (2020), def. Savannah Grewal (Canada) Mississauga, Ontario (2020), 5&3

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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