Sunday, December 5, 2010

IRT - Carson defeats Croft to win Rose City Pro-Am

Rocky Carson defeated Ben Croft, 11-7, 12-10, 6-11, 11-2, to win the Rose City Pro/Am in Portland, Oregon - a Tier 3 event on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT). It's Carson's second win in a row on tour as he also won the Corona Open last month in Chihuahua, Mexico.

After dropping the first game, Croft had a chance to level the match, as he led 10-7 in game two. But Carson fought back to tie the game at 10-10 and then using his characteristic off speed Z serve to the left, he finished off game two 12-10 to go up two games to none.

Carson took a 4-0 lead early in game three and looked on track for a three game sweep. But to his credit Croft didn't give up, fighting back to 6-6 - helped by a couple of crack out drive serves to the right side - and then pushed through to win 11-6.

But that win seemed to take all Croft had in him, as Carson took another early lead in game four, which Croft had no answer for. It was 9-0 before Croft got on the board to get a couple of points before Carson finished it at 11-2.

Afterwards, Croft said he "didn't play well" on Sunday, and Carson agreed saying he was lucky to get Croft on "an off day." But Croft said he always gives "100% effort" even if he's not playing well.

Asked how he felt after the match, Croft proclaimed himself the "Iron Man" of racquetball and that he'd be happy playing "back to back to back" all the time, even twice a week. That partly explains Croft's entry in next weekend's Minot Open in Minot, North Dakota; that's a Tier 4 IRT event.

Also, Croft said he's looking forward to next month's string of tournaments, when there are three Tier 1 events in a row: the California Open (January 6-9), New York City Pro/Am (January 13-16) and Lawler Sports Pro/Am (January 20-23).

In the semi-finals, Carson beat Shane Vanderson, 11-3, 11-4, 11-4, while Croft got the best of Chris Crowther, 11-7, 11-8, 11-2.

Follow the bouncing ball....

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