Six teams blasted out of the gate in the hunt for the most prestigious tournament on the West Coast. Fans from across the country enjoyed a trio of competitive games on the first day of play in the Gulfstream Pacific Coast Open on the United States Polo Association Livestream.
The first match-up of the day featured last tournament’s winner, Farmers & Merchants Bank against father/son de Narvaez combination on Sol de Agosto. Sol de Agosto hit the field hot leading the match 5-0 through the first two chukkers of the game. Vercellino came alive for FMB in the third chukker, scoring three consecutive goals for his team. Jim Wright put the final goal of the chukker in for Sol de Agosto to maintain a hearty lead 6-3. Vercellino continued to be the sole player to score for FMB, adding two more to the tally. Sol de Agosto, scoring all but one from the field thus far, added their final goal of the chukker to make the score 7-5, still leaning towards Sol de Agosto. A single penalty shot made by Criado was met with two more goals from the opposition. The final chukker of play showed off the fierceness brought about by the shiny PCO trophy. Four goals by the FMB squad and a single goal by Sol de Agosto sent the match into overtime. Vercellino made out like a bandit in the 7th period scoring with ease and giving Farmers & Merchants Bank the first victory of the tournament. 11-10
Santa Clara, three-time finalists this summer, met a tough Lucchese team for the second match of the day. Lucchese was taking no prisoners, soaring 8-2 in the first three chukkers of play. They continued to play full steam ahead through the second half, easily securing their victory 16-7. Jeff Hall and Augustin Obregon each scored six goals from the field, show casing the effectiveness of open, fast play.
Klentner Ranch took a cue from Lucchese, turning on the heat on Restoration Hardware, the defending Pacific Coast Open Champions. The Obregon duo came to impress, showing great control of the ball throughout the game. The first two goals of the match went for the Klentner Ranch crew, one from the penalty line and a second on a deep neckshot from Bray, 2-0. Crowder took advantage of an open goal penalty to put RH on the board early in the second chukker. Klentner and Obregon answered back, each scoring for their team. Restoration Hardware fought to take control of the ball. A brilliant pass landed by Soleimani, who swiftly carried the ball downfield, scoring the first goal from the field for RH. Bray, eager to push KR further ahead added three goals to the count in addition to a fourth from Facundo Obregon. The score read 8-2 in favor of Klentner Ranch going into halftime. They continued to forge through the second half, adding to their total. Two goals from each side brought the score 10-4 at the end of the fourth chukker. Restoration Hardware tightened up their defense, leaving little space for Klentner Ranch to score, but they managed to squeeze in four more from the field to claim victory over RH 14-7.
The Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club is the premier destination for polo on the West Coast. Located on the beautiful American Riviera, the Club offers three high goal fields, a Polo School, boarding facilities, polo lessons and country club amenities, including eight tennis courts and a fitness facility, all alongside the Pacific Ocean. The 2017 season opened May 5th and runs through the first week of October. For more information about the Club and to purchase tickets please visit www.sbpolo.com.
Photo Credits: David Lominska Polographics