Nov. 19, 2013
Don't call it a comeback! Freshman Lucia Polo won the gold medal at the 2013 Juegos Bolivarianos women's golf games in dramatic fashion.
The first year Lady Volunteer and native of Guatemala traveled to Peru to compete in the 2013 Bolivarian Games (officially XVII Bolivarian Games). The Games are a major international multi-sport event that run from November 16-30, 2013 in Peru. Nearly 5,000 athletes from 11 nations participate in 40+ sporting events during the two week period.
Polo won the gold medal after mounting a miraculous comeback on Tuesday, shooting a final round 72 (E) and coming from five strokes behind to defeat Maria Salinas of Peru. Polo finished her 72-hole tournament with a 293 (+5), which included 13 birdies.
Polo gained confidence with each passing day. On Monday, Polo improved on her first day 75 (+3) with back-to-back rounds of 73 (+1). Heading into the final round, she knew the gold medal was possible.
"I've been striking the ball really good, and I started to play more aggressive on Sunday," Polo said. "I started having more opportunities for birdies and it felt good to sink more putts."
Polo not only made her head coach Judi Pavon and the Volunteer Nation proud, but she also captured a huge victory for her home country of Guatemala.
"It was not a big field, but she still had solid and competitive rounds," Lucia's brother said via text message. "Everyone in the country back home is happy because it's the first time golf has been a part of these games and become an Olympic sport. Guatemala doesn't get too many medals so everyone was cheering for Lucia to get the Gold."
Polo will return to Knoxville where she will rejoin her Lady Vol teammates as they prepare for finals. The Lady Vols will return to action February 16 at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic.
|INDIVIDUAL LEADERS (Final)|
|1.||Lucia Polo, Guatemala||75-73-73-72--293 (+5)|
|2.||Maria Salinas, Peru||77-68-71-78--294 (+6)|
|3.||Daniela Vargas, Colombia||78-73-72-75--298 (+10)|
|4.||Paloma Vaccaro, Paraguay||75-76-73-76--300 (+12)|
|5.||Eileen Vargas, Colombia||79-78-78-73--308 (+20)|