Five days ago, 156 of the world’s greatest junior golfers graced the fairways of PGA National Resort & Spa’s Championship and Haig courses. On Tuesday, that field was cut to 64 and match play brackets were set. At the end of day three, the field had been whittled down to 16, and by the end of Thursday, there were only four players remaining.
The Boys Division features Leesville, S.C.’s Cody Proveaux, the No. 18 player in the Polo Golf Rankings, going head to head against Michael Kim of Del Mar, Calif., who is the No. 28 player in the Polo Golf Rankings.
Proveaux began match play as the No. 2 seed, and was first matched against Motin Yeung, who he defeated 1-up. His next opponent was Junior PLAYERS Champion, Michael Johnson, who gave Proveaux the closest match to date, as it took 20 holes to name a winner. In the quarterfinals, Proveaux only got better, defeating Michael Bernard 4 and 3, and then besting Rolex Junior Player of the Year Anthony Paolucci in the semifinals, 5 and 4.
Kim made short work of his opponent Mads Sogaard in the first round, defeating him 5 and 4, and then needed 18 holes to notch a 1-up victory against JD Tomlinson in the second round. In the quarterfinals, Kim took on three-time Polo Golf Junior Classic stroke play medalist Emiliano Grillo, defeating him 4 and 3. Matched against Jonathan Garrick in the semifinals, Kim claimed a 1-up victory to earn a spot in the championship match.
In the Girls Division, No. 11 seed Karen Chung of Livingston, N.J., will face No. 12 seed Jaye Marie Green of Boca Raton, Fla.
Chung began with a 1-up win over Samantha Marks in the first round, but only needed 16 holes in her 3 and 2 second-round victory over Marijosse Navarro. In the quarterfinals, Chung took on Erynne Lee and defeated her 4 and 2. Her semifinal match would require a couple of extra innings, as she bested Tiffany Lim in 20 holes to solidify her spot in the championship match.
Green began match play with a 2 and 1 victory over Lauren Diaz-Yi in the first round. Her second-round pairing found her going head to head with Ri Hyang Park, where she won in 23 holes- the longest match of the 2010 tournament so far. Green wouldn’t let her quarterfinal match go on that long, as she claimed a 5 and 4 victory over Kelli Oride, before knocking off Jessica Vasilic in the semifinals, 2 and 1.
With the championship matches in full swing at PGA National, stay tuned to find out who will become the next Polo Golf Junior Classic champion and add their name to the impressive list of past champions.