Orange County Open August 27-28
Some of the top players in California showed up for the 2nd annual Orange County Open at Craig Park in Fullerton California. After hitting a snag and re-scheduling, Sam Neer took the bull by the horns and assumed the role of Tournament Director and taking the tournament to a new level with his leadership.
Saturday saw the CPRT in action with 16 teams set to slug it out. The finals came down to Rick Sodaman Koll and his partner Eric Fernandez taking on Jesus Usterroz and Patrick Allin.
In the end Sodaman and Fernandez took home the prize money with close to $1000 in the pot.
Sunday brought out the Pro/Open division players and once again, there was a large draw with 14 teams competing. Scott Davis and Mike Peters finished as the #1 seed, despite a tough loss to Rocky Carson and Jesus Usterroz 15-14 in pool play (relinquishing a 14-10 lead).
In the semifinals, Peters and Davis drew Mike Orr and Patrick Allin, but with Scott Davis’s thundering drive serve, they proved no match. Scott’s serves were either IN and then consequently, unreturnable, or just on the outside of the painted lines. In the other semifinal, the team of Brandon Davis and Rick Koll took on Rocky Carson and Jesus Usterroz. Sodaman was hitting a blistering angle with his patented unreadable two wall serve out Rocky’s door that had the #1 ranked outdoor player on his heels. A shocking 15-6 beat down set up a battle of the Davis brothers in the final.
With a few careless returns by Peters to start the match, Rick and Brandon were off to a 4-1 start. But Davis and Peters dug in and started carving away at the lead and then put it on cruise control to take the final 21-13 with the last point coming on a Peters frontwall-sidewall kill to end the match. With the prize money at $900 for the final, Davis and Peters took home a nice paycheck for a half day’s work.
In the pro mixed doubles that followed, a seemingly tireless Rick Koll made it all the way to the final with his partner Michelle Poage, only to run into Patrick Allin and Jackie Paraiso. With Allin controlling the front court, this newly formed team was able to take the victory in easy fashion and claim the top Prize.
Rick Villavicencio did an outstanding job with food and drink all weekend, but a special thanks should go to Sam Neer, who ran an amazingly smooth and efficient two day event. With some prodding, the California contingent is hoping to get him to do it again in the future, right Sam??!!
A great warm up for the upcoming super event THE VEGAS 3WALLBALL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, this Orange County open had it all: great weather, great food, and some high level racquetball.