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PLAYER TO WATCH: PATRICK URETZ, TWIN PALM'S WEAPON IN SKINS VICTORY

PoloChannel Staff | 03/27/18

 

Patrick Uretz and his team, Twin Palms, rode home Sunday from Eldorado Polo Club
with a lot to celebrate. They won both the 24th Annual Polo Skins Games and the
USPA Rossmore Cup, and Uretz was named MVP of the prestigious 12-goal
tournament. Their 12-9 victory over Farmers and Merchants Bank/RH Polo also
earned Twin Palms the coveted bronze horse statue and $14,000 in prize money.
While he said he appreciated the awards, the tournament meant a lot more to Uretz
on many levels.


“To be in that game and have success feels really good,” he said. “I’ve played at
Eldorado for my whole life. I played kids polo here, and I’ve been watching the
Skins games since I was in diapers. Winning the Skins can launch a young player into the next level of his career. Watching it as a young kid made me want to practice and work hard so that I could someday play in it.” The Polo Skins format is exactly like a golf skins competition, with each chukker
played as a “skin” that pays $3,500. The winner of each chukker receives the money
available. If the teams are tied after a chukker, the amount that was available is
added to the amount to be played for in the next chukker. This year the runners up
won $7,000. In addition the team that makes the most goals overall sees their name
on the Rossmore Cup.


At a team meeting before the game, Twin Palms set a strategy. “We discussed
whether we wanted to load the horses in some chukkers to go for the money or to
just go for the game. We all decided as team to play for the game. We’re honored to
have accomplished both,” said Uretz.


“The Skins format is exciting because when you win a chukker, it’s almost like you
just won a game, and it’s a great feeling to know you just won some money,” he said.
“In the second chukker Graham Bray scored an unbelievable cut shot with one
second left on the clock, and we all went crazy, like we had just won the game.”


At halftime Twin Palms was down two chukkers, but to Uretz the Skins format made
it feel more like being down a goal. “Our mentality in the second half was to just get
back to winning each play and know that the rest will come,” he said. “When we won
the last the three chukkers, we got ourselves some nice bonus money.” [The last
chukker was worth $7,000.]


Game high-scorer with nine goals, Uretz attributed his performance to his
teammates.

“The team was set up well. Graham is such a force up front; he and Mike [Kerley]
create open lanes for me all the time. I was able to have a lot of success with the ball
because of them. Mason [Wroe] does such a good job marking the top players that it
makes my job even easier,” he said.


Uretz said the fields at Eldorado are excellent. “The weather has made it a tough
to keep playing fields in good condition in this part of the country.” he said.
“Eldorado rested the fields and watered them at the right times. The field for the
final was the best I’ve played on all season.”


The opportunity to play against developing young players was a highlight for Uretz,
whose team was also a finalist in the 2018 Governor’s Cup at Eldorado. He
particularly enjoyed playing against Bayne Bossom, an up-and- coming young player,
in the Governor’s Cup.


“Bayne started in the junior programs, and I’ve watched him play all the way
through. This has been a breakout year for him,” said Uretz. “It was great to see that
the level of youth play is growing again. Eldorado was full of trailers for the junior
game [played on the morning of the Skins game]. It’s really nice to see polo have
families back in it. The parents want to be there because the kids want to be there,
and the young kids’ excitement about it makes everyone more excited.”


Uretz described the club as “a great environment, family-friendly, and everyone’s
kids are running around together. To me it’s home.”

Rosters and handicaps:

Twin Palms: Graham Bray 3, Mason Wroe 4, Patrick Uretz 4, Mike Kerley 1 (sub for
Chris Maloney). Uretz and Wroe are members of Team USPA.

Farmers and Merchants Bank/RH Polo: Danny Walker 2, Mariano
Fassetta 5, Santiago Von Wernich 5, Catlin Dix A (sub for Ben Soleimani).

The final was live streamed by the USPA Polo Network. The game is
available on demand HERE
  
Complete game report: http://eldoradopoloclub.com/twin-palms- doubles-the-
skins-money- and-wins- rossmore-cup/

Information on Eldorado Polo Club: www.eldoradopoloclub.com or call 760-342- 2223