Pheasant Hollow (Deb Vermoch, Eileen Duffy, Carlos Galindo and Tim Rudy) continued to roll on Sunday morning in the 4-goal Desert Challenge at the Empire Polo Club, downing both Hanalei Bay (Krista Bonaguidi, Ron Bonaguidi, Ashton Wolf and Alvaro Tadeo) and Seattle (Cameron Smith, Suki Piper, Victor Soto and Goyo Mariscal) for a second straight day, as they won the first tournament of the season.
Hanalei Bay opened Sunday’s competition against Seattle and put up three unanswered first chukker goals. Alvaro Tadeo scored the first goal of the day followed by a 30-yard penalty goal from teammate Krista Bonaguidi. Ashton Wolf closed out the period with a goal from the field for a 3-0 advantage.
Cameron finally got Settle on the scoreboard with a goal in the second. Krista Bonaguidi added a second penalty goal (30-yards) to end the mini-match with Hanalei Bay riding off with the win, 4-1.
Seattle remained on the field for the next two chukkers of play, facing Saturday’s front runner in Pheasant Hollow.
A penalty goal from Deb Vermoch accounted for all of the scoring in the period as neither team managed to mount an effective attack. The chukker ended with Pheasant Hollow on top, 1-0.
Goals from Carlos Galindo and Tim Rudy extended the lead to 3-0 s Seattle struggled to find an answer to the Pheasant Hollow defense. Vermoch added another penalty goal to close out the chukker for a 5-0 shutout.
The final showdown of the tournament pitted Pheasant Hollow against Hanalei Bay in a rematch of Saturday’s final chukkers of play.
A 60-yard penalty conversion from Ashton Wolf and a goal from the field from teammate Alvaro Tadeo had Hanalei Bay in the driver’s seat, 2-0, as the first of the final two periods of the tournament got underway. Galindo and Rudy scored consecutive goals to tie it at 2-2, with Deb Vermoch scoring the final goal of the period on a penalty goal for a 3-2 advantage.
Galindo scored his second goal of the mini-match that was followed by a 40-yard penalty conversion. A stubborn Pheasant Hollow defense held Hanalei Bay scoreless over the balance of the match, with Pheasant Hollow riding off with the 5-2 victory.
The 2017 Desert Challenge was played in a round-robin format, with each team playing the other teams for two consecutive chukkers. The totals from Saturday were combined with Sunday’s results with Pheasant Hollow taking first place with a two-day total of 18 goals (9 from Saturday). Hanalei Bay finished the tournament with 13 goals (7 from Saturday) goals with Seattle finishing third with a total of 6 goals (Seattle scored 4 goals on Saturday and received a one goal handicap over the two-day tournament). Pheasant Hollow’s Carlos Galindo was the tournament high-scorer with seven goals.
The Desert Challenge is the first of four consecutive 4-goal tournaments which will be followed by the Coyote Cup, the Jackalope Cup and the Holiday Cup.
The 2017-2018 Empire Polo season attracts players from across the country and around the world and offers fourteen weekends of fast-paced polo in the beautiful and relaxed setting of California’s winter playground.
The Empire Polo Club is located at 81-800 Avenue 51 in Indio, CA. For further information go to the club website at http://www.empirepolo.com or call 760-342-7755.