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San Saba Defeats Everglades 11-9 For First Win In Stanford Financial Group - 100th U.S. Open Polo Championship At International Polo Club Palm Beach

WELLINGTON, Florida – Nine-goaler Agustin Merlos scored six goals and San Saba played its best all-around game of the season en route to an 11-9 victory over Everglades in the first round of the Stanford Financial Group – 100th U.S. Open Polo Championship Monday at International Polo Club Palm Beach.

The victory evened San Saba’s record at 1-1 and kept alive their hopes of advancing to the quarterfinals.

San Saba dominated the final two chukkers, outscoring Everglades 6-2 to rally for the win. Everglades had two-goal leads twice during the fourth chukker – 6-4 and 7-5. There were five ties in the game, the last one at 8-8 on 8-goaler Lucas Monteverde’s goal with 1:05 remaining in the fifth chukker.

Merlos converted a 30-yard penalty shot with six second remaining in the fifth chukker to give San Saba a 9-8 lead and momentum heading into the final chukker. Merlos tapped in a long pass from 8-goaler Hector Galindo with 4:25 left in the game to give San Saba a 10-8 advantage. Monteverde sliced the margin to 10-9 on a 30-yard penalty shot with 1:20 left but Everglades could not get the tying goal. Galindo clinched the victory on a breakaway with 33 seconds remaining.

“At this level, everything has got to come together to win the U.S. Open,” said Galindo. “This (win) has brought life back into us.”

Galindo and 7-goaler Toto Collardin finished with two goals each while patron Tommy Lee Jones did not score.

Monteverde led Everglades (0-2) with five goals while Tomas Llorente added three goals and Owen Rinehart scored one goal. Patron Skeeter Johnston did not score. The loss severely hurt Everglades’ chances to advance to the quarterfinals.

High-goal polo action in the Stanford Financial Group – U.S. Open Polo Championship continues Tuesday with a tripleheader beginning at 10 a.m. when Orchard Hill (0-1) plays Bendabout (1-0), followed by Catamount (1-0) vs. Lechuza (0-1) at noon followed at 3 p.m. by White Birch (1-0) vs. Isla Carroll (1-0).

Thirteen teams, featuring nine 10-goalers, have entered the Stanford Financial Group – U.S. Open Polo Championship, the most prestigious polo tournament in North America, highlighting the historic inaugural polo season at the International Polo Club Palm Beach. The 26-goal tournament culminates with the championship match on Sunday, April 18 at 3 p.m. Fifteen teams, in 2002, is the record for teams in a U.S. Open.

The Stanford Financial Group – U.S. Open will be played on the International Polo Club Palm Beach’s five world-class Bermuda-grass playing fields and teams will also take advantage of the many private fields in Wellington.

The Houston-based Stanford Financial Group, a privately-held global network of affiliated companies, has signed on as the title sponsor of the 100th U.S. Open Polo Championship in 2004. Stanford’s family of companies provides international private banking, trust and brokerage services and real estate development. Currently, the Stanford organization manages in excess of $17 billion in deposits and assets, serving clients on six continents. The success of the group is the result of entrepreneurial spirit and drive spearheaded by third generation Chairman and CEO R. Allen Stanford.

Like the high-goal teams on the field, the International Polo Club Palm Beach has amassed a lineup of prestigious sponsors for the U.S. Open. The Stanford Financial Group – U.S. Open tournament will feature a different presenting sponsor every Sunday, including Bombardier Aerospace, Cunard Ltd. and HUMMER, Mitchell-Peck Jewelers, Piaget and Roder.

As always, there will be a delicious Sunday brunch, catered by The Breakers, open to the public preceding the featured stadium match, along with the now traditional and very popular champagne divot stomp and an post-match awards presentation.

Individual tickets for the U.S. Open tournament Sunday games range from $15 for general admission to $120 for tailgating spots and are available in advance. For ticket information for the U.S. Open, please call the club at (561) 204-5687 or visit online at Tickets are also available at the gate.

International Polo Club Palm Beach is located at 3667 120th Avenue South, between Pierson Road and Lake Worth Road, in Wellington.


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