David C. Johnson, Jr. Memorial Underway at Heights Casino

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The 2014 David Johnson final. L-R: Clive Leach, Ben Gould, Paul Price, Damien Mudge.

The Squash Doubles Association (SDA) David C. Johnson Jr. Memorial, the oldest professional doubles tournament dating back to 1938, is underway at Brooklyn’s Heights Casino.

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Sponsored by Brooklyn’s Sixpoint Brewery and Five Acre Farms, the David C. Johnson is one of the highest prize money events on the SDA Pro Tour with a prize money purse of $40,000. Two rounds of qualifying played out Tuesday night and Wednesday morning sending four teams to complete the sixteen-team main draw. The first round of the main draw play will be split between Wednesday evening and Thursday.

Defending champions and joint world No. 1’s Damien Mudge & Ben Gould lead the draw as top seeds in search of their sixth title of the season, and second $40,000 title. Opposing the Australians are Trinity alums Yvain Badan, world No. 3, and Manek Mathur, world No. 4, who look to add their second title of the season to their $40,000 PDC Cup title. Badan and Mathur are seeded to meet fellow Bantams Jonny Smith, world No. 6, and Mike Ferreira, world No. 8, in the semifinals. 2014 finalist Clive Leach, world No. 5, returns as the four seed with his Big Apple Open-winning partner John Russell, world No. 7.

In 1938, Ned Bigelow started an open doubles championship at the Heights Casino. It was the first tournament that allowed professionals to participate and paid them if they won. Until the 1960’s, the the Heights Casino tournament was the only open professional doubles tournament. In 1965, it was memorialized after David C. Johnson, Jr., who was one of the tournament’s driving forces.