Paddle in all conditions
The day started out sunny, moved to an overcast sky for half of the day, then turned to a mist and ended in a downpour… but that didn’t dampen the spirits of a Pat Jost and TJ Strachota riding a wave to the winner’s circle over 3-time champion David Brock and his partner Robert Barkley in the finals.
Jost and Strachots (who both had Fall Classic Championship wins) had never won the coveted Club Championship, took the finals after starting down a set, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. The left handed Jost, played on the ad side all day and got a lot of flack for the unorthodox choice — but winning a championship has a way of shutting the haters down.
Said Jost, “I switched to the deuce court for the second set which seemed to help me drive the ball around Brock – you just can’t drive at him, it always comes back.”
Like every other B-player in the tourney, Strachota got picked on by every team, but TJ just kept hitting great deep lobs… and even charged the net at the proper time to put points away. It hadn’t been since 2012 that Will Mrotek and John Lindstrom won the TCC Championship for two guys ranked higher than 20 to win.
Said Tournament director/player Dan Einhon, “It’s quite an accomplishment.None of us thought that middies could win this. Gives us all hope.”
Getting your money’s worth?
There were 44 participants at the start of the day. The biggest field in TCC history. In the Consolation bracket, who else than Mike Farley, the Consolation King… er, scratch that, Team Farley won this year’s consolation.
“I don’t even have to play and they give me the damn title,” said Farley from an incredibly long serpentine line at IKEA in Oak Creek. “I screwed the whole thing up by winning our first match against Duke. Who knew that there was a play-in?”
Good thing that Farley’s partner, David Florsheim, stuck around long enough to find Ryan Oakes to compliment his game. The new pairing won four straight matches, beating Matt Monroe and Todd Bentley (was actually Troy Roberts, but sources indicated that Bentley would have been a better partner) in the consolation finals.
The real winner
Although the rain proved to be problematic for many, one bright spot in the day was the lunch time meal, served up by A Taste of Heaven — BBQ pork, beef and chicken, as well as super corn bread and coleslaw that had many taking thirds!
In the end, sloshing his way to his car, Jost closed with, “Thanks to Dan and the committee for all the hard work putting together another great event. David Brock is nothing short of incredible. The only person I was more impressed with was TJ.”
You got that right, doc.
Check out this gallery of images from the day…