The Polo Golf Junior Classic, which has been conducted annually since 1978, marks the first tournament of the AJGA’s 2015 season. Former champions include Stewart Cink (1989), Trevor Immelman (1995), Tiger Woods (1991), Paula Creamer (2002), Grace Park (1994, 1996) and Morgan Pressel (2004).
Held on two courses at PGA National, the Girls Division played the Fazio Course (6,310 yards, par 72) for the first round and the Champion Course (6,377 yards, par 72) for the second round. After 36 holes of stroke play, the field was cut to 32 players for the match-play portion of the championship.
Valdes got off to a great start in stroke play with a first-round score of 3-under-par 69, which gave her a share of the leadand put her in great position to earn an invitation to match play. Valdes held serve in the second round after a 4-over-par 76 earning her the sixth seed in the match-play bracket.
Valdes squared off with Agathe Laisne in the Round of 32. Starting on the back nine of the Fazio Course, Valdes was 1-down going into the 18th hole. Valdes was able to win the hole with par to square the match going into last nine holes. She used this momentum to win three more holes on the last nine to secure a 1-up victory.
In the Round of 16, Valdes was matched with Muni He on the Champion Course. Valdes got off to a hot starting going 2-up after three holes. He battled back in the middle of the round, but Valdes proved too strong after winning the 15th and 17th hole of the match for a 2&1 victory.
In the quarterfinals, Valdes was matched up against Alyaa Abdulghany. Valdes struggled early in the match and was never able to mount a comeback losing 5&4.
This was Valdes’s first time competing in the Polo Golf Junior Classic. Due to her impressive performance, Valdes now is ranked No. 35 in the Polo Golf Rankings.
Full results of the match-play portion of the Polo Golf Junior Classic can be found in the match-play bracket.