The crowd could feel the heat, but it wasn’t from the sun beaming down on center court on fountain square in downtown Cincinnati.
The heat was on Matt Guy. His 2010 season started strong with victories at IceHole Classic and Cornhole de Mayo. But he hit problems at Maize Kraze at Virginia Beach. Now, he was looking to rebound from his Maize Kraze loss and get his year back on track. This was his return to the finals for the first time since 2008 where he faced Steve Vanderver. Only this time Vanderver watched from the sidelines, hoping to see his doubles’ partner, Dale Smith, take out the ACO #1 ranked player in the world.
“I haven’t had a chance to play him,” Smith said referring to Guy. “I’ve been right next to him every tournament. This is the first time I’ve got to him in a long time.”
Smith went up 17-9 in game one, then secured the game one victory four bags later. Game two went back and forth with each player sharing the lead. Smith fell into problems in a few frames with a bad first bag, only to finish strong enough to minimize the damage by Guy.
Guy tied the match 12-12, but it would have been worse had Smith not nailed a two bagger to end the frame. Then Guy did something rarely seen. He tossed short. They followed with seven straight cornholes, which put Smith back up 15-12. Smith missed a two bagger in the next frame, which decreased his lead to 15-13.
But Guy’s first pitch in the next frame was left of center. He also tossed a bag off the board. Smith went for the kill, but his bag fell short. But his lead grew to 20-13. Eight bags later Dale Smith received a hug from his cornhole doubles partner congratulating him on the victory.
“I’ve been studying (Guy),” said Smith. “He’s awesome.”
But on that day, Guy wasn’t as awesome as Dale Smith.