For those who haven't heard, the season's final official tourney was held in Buffalo 4/20. Now known as the "Fifth Major", this year's draw featured many of the top players from Rochester, Buffalo and Canada.
The colorful team of Steve Pike and Brian "Boater" Balandis surprised everyone and took home the trophy.
After a grueling 2-hour match with Jeff Kotalik/Mike Spaeth in the quarters, they found themselves facing the seemingly unbeatable team of Brady and Sky Kalkman in the semis. They somehow managed to get through that match, only to learn they would be facing Hall-of-Famer and fan-favorite Fritz Odenbach (and stud brother-in-law Chase)in the finals.
The very first point of the Finals Match brought a cheer from the crowd as Chase hit a between-the-legs shot for a winner. Fritz and Chase appeared to have everything rolling towards a decisive victory. But after losing the first set, Steve played with laser-like precision and Boater stepped up his game enough to hang on and take the second.
The final set was a nail-biter with the teams alternating taking the lead. Everyone expected Boater to melt down and lose in a heartbreaker as usual. But on this day things would be different. He and Steve played with a unique synergy that may never be seen again, and they pulled off the upset victory. Congrats to both of them!
|So relieved Boater won a tournament!|
|Ears of every Paddle Player|
|So if Buffalo is now the 5th "major", are the other 4 Shadow Lake, CCR, Oak Hill and Districts ? Just curiuos|
|Ever hear of spell-check?|
|Good Grammar Guy|