It had been more than six years since Rocky Carson made the trip Sun Prairie for a racquetball tournament, but it was well worth the wait for he and his fans as he rolled to victory at the 19th annual Lou Bradley Memorial Pro-Am at the Prairie Athletic Club (PAC) in Sun Prairie this weekend.
The pro draw was stacked with 24 players, including five of the world’s nine best according to current International Racquetball Tour (IRT) rankings, and also featured several state champions.
Carson, of Ladera Ranch, cruised to victory, winning all 12 of his games on the way to the title. Carson held off a spirited effort from fellow Californian Jose Rojas (Stockton) to take the title 11-7, 11-4, 11-7.
Working drive serves to both corners and the occasional Z-serve, the second-ranked Carson controlled the action from the start and continued it with masterful rally play. Rojas, ranked fourth on the IRT, played a great match but couldn’t match Carson’s consistency.
Rojas pulled off a mild upset by defeating fifth-ranked Alvaro Beltran (Mexico) 11-6, 11-7, 8-11, 11-6 in the semis, getting a bit of revenge for a loss to Beltran in the final last season. Rojas has now been to the final at The Lou three straight years.
Carson topped the up-and-coming Mario Mercado, ranked ninth, 11-3, 11-7, 11-4 in the semifinals.
Derek Ott won the Men’s Open Draw, which was a dropdown of players from the pro draw who did not reach the quarterfinals. Ott defeated Sun Prairie’s Justus Benson in a tiebreaker in the Men’s Open Final, after eliminating Benson from the pro draw a year ago in a great five-game match.
Tracy Chynoweth and Brad Hansen shot for their third straight title in the Men’s Open Doubles Final, but were ousted in two games by Mercado and Alcides Gutierrez.
Matches ran from 1 p.m. to midnight on Friday, 7 a.m. until midnight Saturday and 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. Sunday in the tourney, sponsored by Phil Sussek and Bruce Thompson.
The draw featured nearly 140 players in 18 divisions and raised nearly $700 for the Lou Bradley Scholarship Fund.
The results of the tournament are:
Men’s Pro: 1, Rocky Carson; 2, Jose Rojas.
Men’s Open: 1, Derek Ott; 2, Justus Benson (PAC); Consolation, Paul Krueger (PAC).
Men’s AA: 1, Mike Burie (PAC); 2, Jeff Rutkowski (PAC); Consolation, Nick Richardson.
Men’s A: 1, Michael Fredenberg (PAC); 2, Mike Lawton (PAC); Consolation, Joseph Madden
Men’s B: 1, Joseph Madden; 2, Keith Holmes (PAC); Consolation, Ben Davis.
Men’s C: 1, George Alexander (PAC); 2, Penny Del Real; Consolation, Jerry McLain.
Men’s 35+Open: 1, Alok Mehta; 2, Alcides Gutierrez.
Mens 45+A: 1, Dion Landon; 2, Scott Kugler (PAC).
Mens 45+B: 1, Ron Berquist; 2, Cliff Halley.
Women’s Open: 1, Becki Bowman; 2, Jesi Haak (PAC); Consolation, Jess Krueger (PAC).
Juniors 1-bounce: 1, Kiana Patterson (PAC); 2, Nicholas Patterson (PAC).
Juniors 2-bounce: 1, Luke Chynoweth (PAC); 2, Caden Updike (PAC).
Men’s Open Doubles: 1, Mario Mercado/Alcides Gutierrez; 2, Tracy Chynoweth/Brad Hansen (PAC); Consolation, Kyle Hermans/Andy Kaminski.
Men’s AA Doubles: 1, Andy Kaminski/Nate Andree; 2, Antonio Vazquez/Adrian Montes De Oca; Consolation, Nick Richardson/Ben DeGroot.
Men’s A Doubles: 1, Tommy Troutman/Mike Lawton (PAC); 2, Lee Vandenberg/Rich Camps; Consolation, Ron Berquist/Scott Regenscheid.
Men’s B Doubles: 1, Joseph Novak/Ken Urchell; 2, Fred Nothnagel/Gary Prisbe (PAC); Consolation, Ethan Carrick/Joel Peterson (PAC).
Mixed Open Doubles: 1, Andy Thompson/Jesi Haak (PAC); 2, Tracy Chynoweth/Pam Klein (PAC); Consolation, Jess Krueger/Paul Muxworthy (PAC).
Mixed A Doubles: 1, Letty Maldonado/Arnold Ortega; 2, Andrew Klein/Pam Klein (PAC); Consolation, Dan Powell/Pam Larsen.