Peachtree City, GA – In the weeks and days leading up to the ACO GA Major, waves of registrants kept rolling in until the final number of 284 singles players was reached. Not only was it the most entrants ever at an ACO Major, but was twice as many as the largest Major last season, and more than the number of participants at the ACO World Championships of Cornhole VIII.
When the doors to the Peachtree City Tennis Center opened on Friday afternoon, players began flowing in and filling in the courts almost immediately. It was a great set-up that allowed plenty of space for players and their groups to set-up, chill out, and greet old friends. After getting some music playing and cold suds flowing in the beer garden outside, a great party was in action!
When tourneys got started, one Blind Draw after another kept players of all skills levels entertained while the Seniors, Women, and Juniors divisions got underway.
To this point, Caleb Avery has been a seemingly unstoppable force in the Juniors division. He had won every ACO Juniors tournament that he had entered, including the first three ACO Majors of Season X. But in GA, with our largest Juniors field to date, a couple new contenders stepped up and it was Brandon Jones ousting Matthew Stout in the finals. Congratulations to Brandon Jones on your first Juniors Major Championship! Even though he’s young, Brandon has been a top-notch Singles and Doubles player in the ACO for years and he is looking to make things very interesting when it comes time to award our first ACO Juniors World Champion in July. The Juniors division has continued to grow in numbers and talent and we look forward to a good turnout next month at the ACO VA Major. There are still plenty of other top Juniors like Tanner Dinges, Matt Stout, and Kenzie Beach who will be trying to put their stamp on the division as well. We’ll see how it all goes down in VA!
In Womens, the Cleveland duo of Christine Papcke and Stacia Pugh continued their stranglehold on the division. Christine took first place and Stacia took second in a field that boasted over 30 female players. This was Christine’s fourth Womens Major championship title of the season and she’s only picking up steam as we head toward the Worlds. Next month in VA will be quite a challenge though as home state favorites Sara Davis and Stephanie Morgan try to hold their turf. Everyone also needs to keep an eye on Melissa Adams, who has shot up the Womens rankings, finished third in GA, and will surely be looking to make a move in VA . Congrats, ladies!
Almost 40 players took to the courts in the Seniors division and it was a dogfight from the onset, but at the end of the day a new champion outlast the experienced field to win his first ACO Seniors Major Championship. Congratulations to Brian Lynn on your victory! Brian has been finishing at or near the top in all of his North Carolina Seniors Regionals, and had a top five finish at the SC Major, but he finally leaped to the top with a win over Haseeb Habiban in the finals. Rounding out the top 4 was Jim Frantz from OH and Joe Tadder from NC. Great shooting, everyone! Will our current Seniors World Champion, Tom Bobo, try to set the pecking order straight in VA? We look forward to finding out!
By 9:00am Saturday the room was full of colorful jerseys and bags were flying in all directions. Close to 300 Singles players were on the courts as pool play started. There were no easy pools. There were no easy roads to advance. Only the best players of that day would make it to the main bracket and the brutal competition left many players headed back to the Blind Draw courts. When the field had been narrowed down to 64 players, the level of talent remaining was almost ridiculous. After battling through six hard matches, our first two-time ACO Singles Major winner of the season had been crowned. Congratulations to Jordan Langworthy on your second win of the season! It was a rough path, but Jordan iced the cake with an impressive and decisive win over the 5-time King of Cornhole, Matt Guy, in the finals. Rounding out our top five was Trellis Cisco in third, Greg Vajda in fourth, and Darrell Palama and Daymon Dennis in a tie for fifth. Now, the question is if anyone else can step up and join Jordan as a two-time Singles winner this year, or will Jordan take over the points lead and be named as ACO Singles Player of Season? Something tells us that Matt Guy and a few others may have something to say about that!
As Saturday evening approached, over 140 teams were back on the courts and ready to throw down in the Doubles. It was long day and only the most focused teams withstood the pools and advanced to the main bracket. When it was all said and done it was the flat and straight bags of Caleb Avery and Derek Fateiger that took down the Doubles championship. To nobody’s surprise they faced off in the finals against none other than Stacia Pugh and Christine Papcke. Derek is already a multiple time Major Singles champion, and of course, Caleb is the Juniors top dog, but congrats on your first ACO Doubles Majors win as a team! The rest of our top five was Keith Blair and Eric Zocklein in third, Derrick King and Jimmy McGuffin in fourth, and in a tie for fifth was Frank Modlin and Jordan Langworthy and Rocky Rockwell and Matt Stout. Congratulation to all the players on your awesome performances. The drama will only build as we move to VA Beach!
Our sport is continuing to grow and the ACO would like to thank the Certified Officials, players, and attendees for helping us to take another monumental step. As we move forward, the ACO will continually strive to enhance the player experience, and to make our events bigger and better, but most importantly, more fun!
Register now for the ACO Virginia Major #7 – Virginia Beach, VA – April 17th-18th, 2015