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Audi Captures Hall Of Fame Cup; Gonzalo del Tour Named MVP

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Audi Captures Hall Of Fame Cup; Gonzalo del Tour Named MVPby Sharon Robb
Alejandro Novillo Astrada of Flight Options and Gonzalito Pieres of Audi race toward the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher
WELLINGTON, FL-April 15, 2014---In a thrilling finish to the high goal polo season, teenager Grant Ganzi scored the winning goal in the final second of the game to lead Audi to a 9-8 victory over Flight Options Tuesday at International Polo Club.Ganzi, 15, a sophomore at St. Andrew's School, replaced his father in the Audi lineup and joined regular starters Gonzalo del Tour, Gonzalito Pieres and Rodrigo Andrade.
Audi's Grant Ganzi hits downfield with his father Marc Ganzi of Flight Options defending. Photo by Scott Fisher
His father, Marc Ganzi, replaced his mother Melissa Ganzi in the Flight Options lineup and joined Nic Roldan, who was playing for injured Miguel Novillo Astrada for the second consecutive game; and brothers Eduardo and Alejandro Novillo Astrada.
Nic Roldan of Flight Options takes possession of the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher
Audi was coming off its best game of the 26-goal season against Crab Orchard in the 110th Maserati U.S. Open quarterfinals. Audi, the 2009 U.S. Open champion and two-time runner-up, was defeated by Crab Orchard, 13-12, in a see-saw, hardfought battle.
Marc Ganzi of Flight Options with teammate Nic Roldan backing him up and Audi's Gonzalito Pieres defending. Photo by Scott Fisher
Tuesday's game was another evenly matched battle. After the teams exchanged the lead six times, Alejandro Novillo Astrada scored the tying goal (8-8) with 6:51 remaining in the game.After both Grand Champions Polo Club-based pro teams squandered away scoring opportunities during the remainder of the chukker, Ganzi drove downfield to score the winning goal as time ran out.
Most Valuable Player Gonzalo del Tour of Audi with Brenda DuPont. Photo by Scott Fisher
Del Tour, 27, playing in the U.S. for the first time in two years, was named Most Valuable Player for the first time this season. The 7-goaler scored one goal and was aggressive on defense.Grant Ganzi scored a game-high five goals including two on penalty shots. Pieres added two goals. Marc Ganzi led Flight Options with four goals. Roldan and Alejandro Novillo Astrada each added two goals.
Audi's Grant Ganzi driving to goal for one of his game-high five goals. Photo by Scott Fisher
Grant Ganzi's horse, ATM, was named Best Playing Pony.Grant Ganzi, enjoying his best season in polo at the junior national, 20- and 26-goal levels, will compete in two Polo Training Foundation tournaments on Thursday and Friday at IPC.On Thursday, Ganzi will compete in the Jimmer Newman Junior Championship and Friday, the George Oliver Junior Championship. Both games are 5 p.m.
With Rodrigo Andrade of Audi defending, Nic Roldan of Flight Options goes for the hit downfield. Photo by Scott Fisher
In Wednesday's U.S. Open semifinals, Valiente plays Lechuza Caracas at 1 p.m. and Crab Orchard plays Alegria at 4 p.m. at IPC. The winners advance into the final on Easter Sunday at 3 p.m. in the season-finale.The Hall of Fame Cup, the subsidiary tournament of the U.S. Open, is one of the annual fundraisers for the National Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame.
Gonzalito Pieres of Audi all alone driving downfield with the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher
Flight Options, one of the 2014 season's new polo team sponsors, is the world's second largest private aviation fleet that flies throughout the United States, Canada, northern Mexico, Cabo San Lucas and the Bahamas.For game recaps, news, features and photos of Grand Champions Polo Club-related events, go to www.grandchampionspoloclub.org.
Eduardo Novillo Astrada of Flight Options drives downfield with Audi defenders Gonzalito Pieres and Gonzalo del Tour in pursuit. Photo by Scott Fisher
2014 SEASONWEDNESDAY: 110th Maserati U.S. Open Polo Semifinals, Valiente vs. Lechuza Caracas, 1 p.m.; Alegria vs. Crab Orchard; THURSDAY: PTF Jimmer Newman Junior Championship, 5 p.m.; FRIDAY: PTF George Oliver Junior Championship, 5 p.m.; EASTER SUNDAY: U.S. Open final, 3 p.m.
Nic Roldan of Flight Options hits a neck shot with Rodrigo Andrade of Audi defending. Photo by Scott Fisher
GRAND CHAMPIONS AT PALM BEACH POLO 2014 TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE (HOTLINE 561-373-0073)LAS ACACIAS CUP 5-GOALSATURDAY: Championship final, 10 a.m.; Handicap Final, 11:30 a.m.
Award presenter Brenda DuPont of the National Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame with winning Audi teammates Grant Ganzi, Gonzalo del Tour, Gonzalito Pieres, Rodrigo Andrade. Photo by Scott Fisher
USPA NATIONAL PRESIDENT'S CUP 8-GOALSATURDAY: FINAL, Grand Champions at PB Polo, Field 2, 3 p.m.GRAND CHAMPIONS 2014 SPRING SCHEDULE (561-644-5050)APRIL 17-19: Grand Champions CupAPRIL 24-27: The USPA Spring ChallengeMAY 1-4: The USPA Sun CupMAY 8-11: The USPA Eastern ChallengeMAY 15-18: The Polo Gear Challenge CupMAY 22-26: The Memorial
The Hall of Fame Cup and Best Playing Pony perpetual trophies. Photo by Scott Fisher
GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUBWHERE: 13444 Southfields Road, on the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington, 33414.INFORMATION: There are great field side views for tournament action at the home base of pro teams Audi and Flight Options. Everyone is welcome to watch high, medium and low goal polo in a relaxed atmosphere during the winter, spring and fall tournament season and other special events including International Cup in November, Buzz Welker Memorial Junior Tournament in March, ProKidz Tournaments in the spring and fall, Women's Championship Tournament and Gay Polo League International Tournament, both in April.
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