WELLINGTON, FL., May 31, 2016—The Dutta Corp, one of the most successful teams at Grand Champions Polo Club, won the final tournament of the spring polo season Sunday at International Polo Club’s Stadium Field.
The foursome of teenager Timmy Dutta, Marc Ganzi, Lucas Diaz Alberdi and Kris Kampsen won The Memorial with an impressive 10-7 victory over Flexjet.
The Memorial was the final tournament of the club’s most successful season in its nine-year history.
Kampsen, working his way back after a serious mountain biking accident last summer, was named Most Valuable Player for the second time this season.
“It was an awesome way to end the season like this for so many reasons,” Kampsen said. “Not too shabby to win at the end of the season this way. It means a lot that I got to do this. I feel like I am back.”
After a 1-1 opening chukker, The Dutta Corp pulled away for a 3-1 lead in the second and 6-2 halftime advantage and never relinquished its cushion. Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, Tim Dutta, Juan Bollini,Tom DeBruin) could never get untracked in the second half.
On Friday at Grand Champions Polo Club, Flexjet advanced into the final with a thrilling 10-9 overtime victory over Grand Champions and The Dutta Corp defeated Postage Stamp Farm, 11-6.
In Sunday’s final, Marc Ganzi and Timmy Dutta led scoring, each with three goals. Kampsen had two goals and Alberdi added one. DeBruin led Flexjet scoring with four goals. Bollini had two goals and Melissa Ganzi added one.
Belgrano, an 8-year-old gray gelding played by Marc Ganzi, was named Best Playing Pony. Ganzi was a member of last year’s Memorial winning team Travieso, that became the first polo team to win three spring tournaments.
In the third chukker of Sunday's final, Dutta, at 14, the youngest player in the four-team tournament, scored back-to-back goals within a minute to give his team a 5-1 lead.
“Timmy is playing really, really well,” Kampsen said. “The kid is on fire. He goes forward and scores a bunch of goals. When we made the game plan with Marc and Piki before the game, it was to get those kids, Lucas and Timmy, going forward and using them.
“We wanted to stretch these guys out and try to make Juan Bollini hit desperate back shots. It left me very free in the back. We didn’t let up, we kept to the same game plan we used on Friday. We stayed with the same mindset. We kept pushing and putting pressure on them and it worked.”
Dutta, one of the spring’s most improved players, enjoyed playing against his father in addition to playing with and against some of the sport’s top players. It was Dutta’s third tournament title of the season. He won two with The Dutta Corp and one with Audi.
“This has been amazing,” Dutta said. “As the season went on and I warmed up, these last three games my mind clicked. Everything came together. I listened when they told me to slow down and relax. Once I did that, I was able to score goals, take the man and read the plays much better.
“We did very well for a first-year team. It is a pleasure to play with my father which is very rare for most players. In November, I played with Marc and Audi and he beat us with Dutta Corp, so it felt good to get the payback today.
“This whole season has been amazing at Grand Champions,” Dutta said. “It is a fantastic polo club and it gave me fantastic opportunities.”
Marc Ganzi, one the world's top-ranked amateurs, has been impressed with the younger players’ progression at the club.
“It’s been really great,” Ganzi said. “To watch the evolution of some of the young players particularly Timmy, it’s been a lot of fun. You look at Timmy last year, he was a minus-one player and now he is a player that is playing one-plus. For him to improve in one season like that is tremendous. It’s fun to play with him. It’s good to give him the confidence. We trust him. He does good things with the ball and he’s easy to play with.”
In the Grand Champions Cup subsidiary game, Grand Champions (Gene Goldstein, Juancito Bollini, Lucas Lalor, JJ Celis) defeated Postage Stamp Farm (Annabelle Gundlach, Grant Ganzi, Brandon Phillips, Jason Crowder), 12-9. Goldstein, who scored four goals, was named MVP.
Grand Champions' success continues to grow, hosting a record number of teams and players in a relaxed, fun atmosphere.
“The club is doing great, it’s just been amazing,” Ganzi said. “We had great polo all season with Valiente, Sonny Hill, Dutta Corp, Postage Stamp Farm, New Port, La Indiana and Power Horse. We had 12 teams here this whole spring."
During the spring season, amateur polo players had the opportunity to play with and against some of the world’s top professional polo players on pristine polo fields.
“You see the people are really getting the concept and really enjoy being here in the spring," Ganzi said. "That makes a big difference. The fields are great, it’s friendly and casual. The key is for people to leave the field thinking they have had a good time and they have improved.
“It’s just really fun to watch not only the club improve but it’s really fun to watch the members of the club get better. That’s really our goal as a club is to see people’s polo improve. That reflects properly on our club if their polo is getting better and handicaps are moving up at our club. I am really proud of that.”
In the first five tournaments of the season, Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, Sebastian Merlos, Kris Kampsen) defeated Power Horse (Walter Scherb, Michael Bickford, Tincho Merlos, Nic Roldan),18-17, in the spring-opening Grand Champions Cup. Kampsen was named MVP.
Casablanca won its second spring tournament the second week of the season in the Spring Challenge Cup. The team of Gene Goldstein, Grant Ganzi, Julio Arellano and Kris Kampsen defeated Team NR (Tim Dutta, Melissa Ganzi, Nic Roldan, Juan Bollini), 10-8. Melissa Ganzi was named MVP.
The Dutta Corp (Timmy Dutta, Tony Calle, Piki Diaz Alberdi, Brandon Phillips) won the Sun Cup with an 8-6 win over Newport (Gene Goldstein, Grant Ganzi, Julio Arellano, Juancito Bollini). Calle was named MVP.
Casablanca won its third tournament of the season with Gene Goldstein, Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini and Julio Arellano in the inaugural Power Horse Invitational with a 10-7 victory over Flexjet. Goldstein was named MVP.
Audi (Timmy Dutta, Marc Ganzi, Jason Crowder, Brandon Phillips) rallied for an 11-10 overtime victory over Melody (Cesar Gueikian, Kris Kampsen, JJ Celis, Lucas Lalor) to capture the Polo Gear Challenge Cup, one of the oldest spring tournaments in the nation. Crowder was named MVP.
ChukkerTV live streamed the spring games with polo broadcasters Toby Wayman and Dale Schwetz calling the action.
Grand Champions Polo Club is the nation’s busiest and most innovative polo club. The hosts polo tournaments ranging from six to 20-goal in addition to special events.
The club also features The Polo School, dedicated to teaching polo to all ages, particularly grass roots youth. Its mission is to provide individuals opportunities in polo and several tournaments to hone their skills. The Polo School operates in Wellington January through May and September through November.
GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB
WHERE: 13444 Southfields Road, on the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington, 33414.
DIRECTOR OF POLO: Juan Olivera, 561-644-5050, juan.olivera @gcpolo.com; hotline 561-373-0073.
INFORMATION: For spectators, there are great field side views for tournament action and also the Grand Champions Polo Club Boutique. The club is home base for pro teams Audi and Flexjet. Everyone is welcome to watch every level of polo in a relaxed atmosphere that includes a complimentary Argentine asado by Cilantro’s during the featured games of the winter, spring and fall tournament seasons and other special events. Admission is free except for some special events.