Leads Catamount Over Bendabout 10-9 In Whitney Cup Final At Internastional
Polo Club Palm Beach
Florida Catamount, led by 10-goaler Mike Azzaros nine
goals, made it two-for-two in championship matches as it defeated
Bendabout 10-9 in the final of the 26th annual C.V. Whitney Cup
26-goal polo tournament Sunday at International Polo Club Palm Beach.
championship contest was a rematch of the seasons first high-goal
tournament, the 22-goal Joe Barry Memorial final, which Catamount
won 13-10. Bendabout also reached the title game of the seasons
last 22-goal tournament, the Hall of Fame Cup, losing 11-9 to ERG.
were four ties in the game and Bendabout held three-goal leads twice
at 6-3 in the third chukker and 7-4 in the fourth chukker.
But Carlos Gracida scored on a 30-yard forehand at the end of a
200-yard run with 1:38 remaining in the fourth to cut the margin
to 7-5 and begin Catamounts comeback.
took over in the final two chukkers. He scored on a short forehand
with 5:48 left in the fifth to cut the lead to 7-6. Bendabout patron
Gillian Johnston tapped in a long pass from Miguel Novillo Astrada
to push the margin to two but Azzaro responded with two goals in
a 59-second span to tie the game at 8-8.
continued to dominate, converting a 30-yard penalty shot 32 seconds
into the final chukker to give Catamount a 9-8 lead, its first since
3-2 at the end of the second chukker. Bendabouts Adam Snow
tied the game at 9-9 on a tail shot going away from goal with 5:25
dribbled in between Snow and Astrada and hit a 10-yard forehand
to give Catamount a 10-9 lead with 3:25 remaining. He spent the
rest of the game shutting down Bendabouts attempt to tie the
game, hitting long back shots to thwart their offense.
with 40 seconds remaining, Azzaro gained control of the ball, dribbled
three times and hit a long neck shot wide right that ate up the
rest of the clock and gave Catamount a perfect 6-0 record.
halftime trailing 6-4) We were down and we were a little frustrated,
but we pulled it together at halftime, said Azzaro. We
came out and said, Listen, were champions. They cant
take it from us. The only way they can beat us is if we beat ourselves.
The last three chukkers, we didnt make a mistake. We came
out (in the second half) and we just kept fighting and fighting
and fighting and it just made all the difference in the world.
then praised his patron, Scott Devon, a 3-goaler who has been instrumental
in the teams success all year.
came out very slow the first half, but then he played outstanding
the second half, said Azzaro. He really made the difference
in the second half, said Azzaro. What a year for Scott.
Who comes to Palm Beach and wins two major tournaments?
Adam Snow led Bendabout (3-2) with five goals while 10-goaler Miguel
Novillo Astrada scored two goals and patron Gillian Johnston and
Alejandro Novillo Astrada added one goal each.
feel happy to have played in a great final, said Snow, who
finished the tournament with a team-high 27 goals in five games.
Im exhausted and a little disappointed. We had the game
in our control for a while and werent able to put them away.
They found a way to come back and tie the game. Then its anybodys
game in the sixth chukker. I feel a little unlucky to have lost,
but you make your own luck.
was named the MVP and his horse, Godiva, was selected as Best Playing
the semifinals, Catamount scored the first four goals and coasted
to a 10-6 victory over Everglades. Bendabout scored four consecutive
goals in the final two chukkers, two apiece by patron Gillian Johnston
and Miguel Novillo Astrada, to break open a close game en route
to an 11-7 victory over Lechuza.
teams entered the tournament, which is a prelude to the Stanford
Financial Group 100th U.S. Open Polo Championship, the most
prestigious polo tournament in North America.
tournament is named in memory of Cornelius Vanderbilt Sonny
Whitney, who along with his brother John Hay Whitney, were important
polo patrons in the 1930's. The son of Hall of Fame patron Harry
Payne Whitney, C.V. won the U.S. Open three times (twice against
his brother), and was a renowned owner and breeder of thoroughbred
Stanford Financial Group U.S. Open Polo Championship begins
Wednesday with a tripleheader starting at 10 a.m. The polo matches
are open to the public. Tickets for the Sunday games at the International
Polo Club Palm Beach are available at the gate, beginning at $15
each. For information or advance tickets, call (561) 204-5687 or
visit the club website at www.internationalpoloclub.com.
Polo Club Palm Beach is located at 3667 120th Avenue South in Wellington.
From I-95, take the Forest Hill Boulevard exit and go west approximately
12 miles. Turn left onto South Shore Boulevard and go two miles.
Turn left onto Pierson Road, travel about one mile and then make
a right onto 120th Avenue South. The club is on the right. From
Floridas Turnpike, take Exit 93 (Lake Worth Road) and go west
about six miles. Make a right onto 120th Avenue South. The club
is on the left.