In their third event together, Clinton Leeuw, world No. 15, and Jaymie Haycocks, world No. 16, claimed their maiden SDA title at the Diamond State Open in Wilmington, DE, December 1-4.
Leeuw & Haycocks opened their event with a four-game win over Englishmen Chris Longman & Alexander Noakes, 15-9, 11-15, 15-12, 15-12, while Canadians David Letourneau & Kelly Shannon upset three seeds Christopher Binnie & Alex Domenick in a five-game quarterfinal battle, 14-15, 15-11, 15-8, 7-15, 15-11.
In the bottom half of the draw, four-seeds Ricardo Lopez Valdivia & Clive Leach advanced with a three-game win over Billy Berner & Sergio Martin, 15-12, 15-13, 15-11. In another quarterfinal upset, B.G. Lemmon & Josh Hughes overcame two-seeds Lyell Fuller & Lockie Munro 15-14, 9-15, 15-14, 15-7, setting up the second semifinal.
Saturday evening saw an exciting start to the semis, with top seeds Leeuw & Haycocks narrowly dropping the first two games on consecutive game balls against Letourneau & Kelly, before stepping up in the third to mount a successful comeback and win the match 14-15, 14-15, 15-13, 15-3, 15-4.
Lopez Valdivia & Leach earned an early advantage in the second match of the night, taking the first game 15-8. Lemmon & Hughes evened out the score in the second with a 15-11 win, but a battle for the last two games saw Lopez Valdivia & Leach prevail, securing their place in the final, 15-13, 15-12.
In the Sunday final, Leeuw & Haycocks asserted their seeding with their most decisive win of the event, dispatching Lopez Valdivia & Leach 15-8, 15-11, 15-8 to clinch the title.
“It was a fantastic weekend at Wilmington Country Club,” Haycocks said. “Special thanks to Ed Chilton for putting on such a great event and all the sponsors that made it happen. The hospitality was first class and I hope the members enjoyed the weekend as much as the players did. Delighted to get our first win on the tour – it looked like we could be heading home at 2-0 down in the semi-final vs Letourneau/Shannon. Well played and huge thanks to Clinton for playing with me this season.”
“Thank you to Ed and his team for making this event happen,” Leeuw added. “To all the sponsors, thank you. Events like this don’t happen without the support of generous sponsors. Thank you to all the members and staff at WCC for making us players feel welcome. Lastly, thank you to Jaymie for his incredible play this past weekend, couldn’t have got the job done without you!”