WELLINGTON, FL-October 30, 2016-In an emotionally-charged game, Flexjet defeated Audi 7-6 in overtime to win the seventh annual Pedro Morrison Memorial Sunday at Grand Champions Polo Club.
Juan Bollini took advantage of an Audi broken play to shake loose from defenders and scored the winning goal with 4:58 remaining.
|Juancito Bollini of Flexjet battles for the ball.|
Flexjet (Riley Ganzi, Juan Bollini, Juancito Bollini, JJ Celis) was making its’ fifth consecutive championship final appearance.
It was Flexjet’s second tournament victory of the fall season. Flexjet also won the season-opening Tackeria Invitational.
Flexjet led 2-0 in the opening chukker before Audi (Grant Ganzi, Marc Ganzi, Tony Calle, Nic Roldan) took control and led after the second (3-2), third (5-4) and fourth chukkers (6-4).
|Grant Ganzi of Audi defends JJ Celis of Flexjet.|
Flexjet turned the game around shutting out Audi in the final two chukkers. While Audi squandered away scoring opportunities, Flexjet made the most of its chances.
Juancito Bollini converted a penalty-four in the fifth chukker to take the lead, 6-5. With 4:53left in the sixth chukker, Celis picked up a loose ball and weaved his way past Roldan to tie the game at 6-6.
Neither team was able to score again in the penalty-marred sixth chukker sending it into overtime.
|MVP Juan Bollini of Flexjet outraces defenders.|
Juan Bollini came up with two clutch defensive plays at the start of overtime. For the opening bowl-in Audi was positioned only 20 yards away from the goal. Bollini won the bowl-in and got the ball out of scoring position. After an Audi right-of-way penalty, Bollini got the ball again and hit long downfield to his son. Two minutes later, he finished with the game-winning heroics.
Juan Bollini was named Most Valuable Player. Luna, a 9-year-old dark bay mare played by Calle and owned by Santa Rita Polo Farm, was selected Best Playing Pony.
|Juancito Bollini of Flexjet attempts to hook Grant Ganzi of Audi.|
“Everybody on our team was playing their natural position,” Bollini said. “We didn’t want Nic with the ball. You could see the kids (Riley, Juancito, Granti, Tony) getting emotional and fighting for the ball. I loved the energy. Everyone played with heart.”
Juancito Bollini was leading scorer for Flexjet with five goals, including four penalty shots. Roldan led Audi with three goals including a 120-yarder, 60-yarder and 30-yarder at a standstill. Grant Ganzi added two goals.
|Flexjet team champions Juan Bollini, JJ Celis, Riley Ganzi and Juancito Bollini.|
In the Aspen Valley Cup subsidiary game, Jason Crowder converted an open goal penalty three in the final minute of the game to give Riverview (Wes Finlayson, Virginia Ingram, Jason Crowder,
Jared Sheldon) a come-from-behind 13-12 win over Newport (Gene Goldstein, Nacho Lezica, Jesse Bray, Guille Aguero). It was Riverview’s fall season debut at Grand Champions.
Sheldon, a member of Team USPA who scored eight goals, was named Most Valuable Player. X-Box, a bay stallion played by Ingram and owned by Santa Rita Polo Farm, was named Best Playing Pony.
|Virginia Ingram of Riverview outraces defender Guille Aguero.|
The tournament is named in honor of Pedro Morrison, born in Spain and University of Miami alum.
He died Dec. 11, 2003 in Wellington at age 49. He was an avid polo player, patron of The Sympatico Polo team and helped develop Wellington into a thriving community.
Morrison was active in several local and area charities and businesses and touched countless lives.
|From one MVP, Juan Bollini, to another Jared Sheldon.|
He remains an inspiration. His work on behalf of the YMCA of the Palm Beaches continues on through Polo with Pedro. The tournament is played in a casual, laid-back and fun atmosphere and is a celebration of his life among his friends every year.
Flexjet has been a member of the Directional Aviation family of companies since 2013. They are committed to creating premium travel experiences and providing access to the most modern, technologically-advanced aircraft in the industry on a daily basis, going above and beyond world-class private travel experiences.
|Best Playing Pony Luna ridden by Tony Calle.|
Audi and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury cars. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. Audi broke all-time company sales records for the sixth straight year in the U.S.
Wellington-based ChukkerTV, leaders in polo broadcasting, is live streaming the entire fall season worldwide with polo announcer Dale Schwetz calling the action.
ChukkerTV’s state-of-the art technology features team challenges and instant replay which made their debut at Grand Champions in January, 2014.
|Trophy table for the seventh annual Pedro Morrison Memorial.|
Grand Champions, with nine well-manicured fields, is enjoying its finest fall season in the ten-year history of the club.
The club has now hosted six successful tournaments. In the other five tournaments, Flexjet (MVP Riley Ganzi, Melissa Ganzi, Juan Bollini, Jason Crowder) won the season-opening Tackeria Invitational with a 7-6 victory over Casablanca. U.S. Trust (Marc Ganzi, Grant Ganzi, MVP Jared Shelton, Nic Roldan) won the U.S. Trust Cup with a 5.5-3 win over Flexjet. Casablanca (Jared Sheldon, Grant Ganzi, Tony Calle, MVP Jesse Bray) won the Fall Classic with an 11-9 victory over Flexjet. Postage Stamp Farm (Annabelle Gundlach, MVP Marc Ganzi, JJ Celis, Nic Roldan) won the Palm Restaurant Invitational with a 10-9 win over Flexjet; and Palm Beach Polo (MVP Glenn Straub, Martin Estrada, Carlitos Gracida, Carlucho Arellano) won the Mt. Sopris Cup with a 7-4 win over Santa Rita.
The remaining medium goal tournaments are: Nov. 1-6 Fall Plates and Nov. 8-13 Polo Gear Challenge.
|The polo community comes out to support the Pedro Morrison Memorial. Photos by ChukkerTV|
Grand Champions caters to men, women and youth polo players at all levels. Its expert staff can customize a complete playing experience including horses, pros and certified umpires in addition to lessons and practice sessions as part of its’ Polo On Demand program, the only polo club in the
U.S. to offer the unique program.