PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Cody Proveaux of Leesville, S.C., bested Michael Kim of Del Mar, Calif., 4 and 3 in the championship match of the Polo Golf Junior Classic to claim his first AJGA victory. In the Girls Division, Jaye Marie Green of Boca Raton, Fla., won her championship match against Karen Chung of Livingston, N.J., 2 and 1.
The Polo Golf Junior Classic marks the first tournament of the American Junior Golf Association's 2011 season. The 156-player invitation-only field was made up of 78 boys and 78 girls, ages 12-18, from 26 states and 10 foreign countries. After 36 holes of stroke play, the field was cut to the top 32 boys and 32 girls for match play.
Proveaux, a first-year AJGA member, entered match play as the No. 2 seed and kept his momentum going through all five rounds of the bracket. Throughout his quarterfinal, semifinal, and championship matches, Proveaux was never behind.
“I came up with a good win against Anthony (Paolucci) and that really gave me a lot of confidence going into the finals,” Proveaux said. “I felt good going into the championship match.”
Proveaux took his first lead of the day on the par-4 sixth, made the turn at 2-up, and increased his lead to three on No. 10.
The turning point of the match came at the par-4 12th, where Proveaux made a 30-foot par putt to half the hole and put his goal within reach. A birdie on the par-4 13th would give him a 4-up lead, and mutual pars on the par-3 15th would give Proveaux his first national junior golf title.
“Winning feels awesome,” the verbal commit to Clemson said. “To finally win an AJGA tournament, and it be an Invitational, feels great.”
In the Girls Division, Green began her charge to victory on the first hole of her first match. She claimed a 1-up lead, and through five rounds of match play never fell behind to any competitor.
“Having never trailed, it felt good knowing that I had the momentum going into every hole,” Green said. “I just kept telling myself to hold it.”
Green began the match with birdies on Nos. 1 and 2 to claim a 2-up lead. Chung would bring the match back to all square with birdies on Nos. 3 and 6, but the standoff would be short lived.
After Chung won No. 13 with a birdie, the moment of truth came for Green on the par-4 14th. After flying the green on a back hole location, Green would make an up and down for par to halt Chung’s momentum. With pars for both on the par-3 17th, Green would claim her first AJGA Invitational title.
“I had one of the worst summers this year, and I worked really hard,” Green said. “I was pumped just to make the cut and then I won every match. It means the world to me.”