Audi Wins 2008 Pacific Coast Open
By Alex Webbe
Audi had been a second half team all season, and it didnâ€™t
disappoint anyone Sunday as it rallied from a 6-6 halftime tie with a
determined Grants Farm team to capture a 13-10 win in the finals of the 2008 Pacific
Coast Open at the Santa Barbara Polo Club.
The victory marked the first time since 1982 that a team
swept all three major tournaments at Santa Barbara, going undefeated in the
Tournament MVP Gonzalito Pieres led the charge with nine
goals, but it wasnâ€™t until the last two chukkers that Audi was able to shake
Grants Farm, outscoring them five goals to two in the last two chukkers of the
Audi opened strong with Gonzalo Del Tour scoring the first
goal of the match followed by two goals from the field by Gonzalito Pieres as
the Audi defense shut down the Grants Farm offense.
Jeff Hall got Grants Farm on the scoreboard in the second
chukker, scoring once from the field and converting a 40-yard penalty
shot. Pieres added his third goal of the
game from the field to give Audi a 4-2 advantage before young Cachi Garcia
scored two quick goals for Grants Farm to even it at 4-4 to end the chukker.
Pieres opened the third period with a goal that was quickly
countered by a goal from Andy Busch. Pieres
took advantage of a Grants Farm foul in front of the goal to make it 6-5,
Audi. Hall added another goal for Grants
farm to end the first half, 6-6,
Hall converted a thirty-yard penalty shot in the fourth
chukker to give Grants Farm its first lead of the game, 7-6, but Pieres
answered with a penalty conversion of his own, and it was tied again. Fred Mannix scored his first goal of the game
to put Grants Farm back on top, 8-7, but another penalty conversion by Pieres
would knot it up again at eight goals apiece to end the fourth chukker.
Gonzalito Pieres scored from the field to give Audi a brief
lead, 9-8 before Mannix scored again for Grants Farm to even the score at
9-9. Gonzalo Del Tour scored his second
goal of the game to end the chukker with Audi on top of a lead they would not
Pieres scored his ninth goal f the game to open the final
chukker of play and two goals from South Africaâ€™s 7-goaler Sugar Erskine would
seal the deal. With Audi on top of a
13-9 score, Grants Farm tried to battle its way back into the game, but it
wasnâ€™t happening. A final goal from Jeff
Hall ended the scoring as Audi rode off with the 13-10 lead and the 2008
Pacific Coast Open Championship.
Pieres led all scoring with nine goals. Teammates Sugar Erskine and Gonzalo Del Tour
scored two goals apiece in the win.
Jeff Hall led Grants Farm with five goals. Cachi Garcia and Freddie Mannix scored two
goals apiece while patron Andy Busch added a single goal in the loss.
Audiâ€™s Gonzalito Pieres was named tournament MVP while
teammate Marc Ganzi was named amateur MVP.
Sugar Erskineâ€™s 13-year-old brown mare Shell Rock was named Best Playing
Pony. Andy Buschâ€™s black mare Perla won
amateur BPP honors.
Audiâ€™s Gonzalo Del Tour was named the seasonâ€™s MVP and
presented with the Robert Skene Award.
The trophy was voted on by the players and is based on playing ability
and sportsmanship. Elizabeth Skene
presented the award.