Bacardi Spiced ACL Open #1 Recap
The much anticipated Bacardi Spiced ACL Open Series kicked off with a bang in West Dundee, IL this past weekend. There was a lot of talent and as you might imagine a corresponding amount of amazing cornhole on display. With over 50 ACL Pros participating this was our first chance to get some questions answered about how this seasons Pro Division might shape up.
Rookie ACL Pro Miranda Coy defeated another rookie ACL Pro, Daniela Luna for the ACL Open Women’s Singles Championship, with Miranda’s sister, ACL Pro Courtney Coy finishing 3rd. Proving that statistics aren’t everything, Miranda and Daniela finished with the 6th and 7th highest PPRs respectively yet finished 1st and 2nd In the tournament – proving clutch shooting and grinding out “W’s” is more important than compiling impressive statistics.
The tournament leader in PPR was ACL Pro Maya Cupp, who despite dominating the field with a 9.54 PPR, couldn’t get past upstart Lexi Hugeback who knocked off the Women’s Division powerhouse not once, but twice. Luck didn’t smile on Courtney as she finished 2nd in PPR and 1st in Differential but had to settle for a 3rd place finish. Lexi’s 4th place finish was the best finish by a non-ACL Pro.
In the ACL Open Senior Singles Tom Gorski took home the Championship by besting Bruce LaLonde in the finals, with rookie ACL Pro Steve Schroeder finishing 3rd. Similar to Courtney Coy in the Women’s Division, the statistics didn’t really tell the story here. Steve’s statistics looked better than his 3rd place finish, he logged the highest PPR at 9.44 and was 2nd in Differential but had to settle for 3rd in the standings. Meanwhile Tom was tops at the most important statistic of all, which is of course wins; therefore he is the first Senior Singles winner in the Bacardi Spiced ACL Open Series.
Advanced Blind Draw
The ACL Open Advanced Blind Draw proved to be very interesting from the start, as the ACL team randomizer appeared to do its job exceptionally well by avoiding pairing any big names together. All veteran ACL Pros in the field drew non-ACL Pro partners, while a handful of teams featured two rookie ACL Pros. With no powerhouse teams in place, the bracket was wide open and featured numerous close matches. The tandem of ACL Pro Matthew Morton and Chris Day were able to survive a couple close games early and ride an impressive barrage of airmails to the Championship.
For those that don’t know Chris, the surprise was that he threw (and hit) more airmails than the well-known airmailer Matthew! As the tournament wore on, their airmails were both “on” at the same time and that proved to be the difference. As would be expected with a team shooting such high risk/high reward shots so consistently, both players came in under a 9 PPR; however, they both did well in Differential, with Chris leading the field at an impressive 1.49! On the PPR front, Jay Bantz was the leader at 9.69 followed by Jordan Camba’s 9.63.
The ACL Open Doubles Rounders event was much anticipated on Saturday as there were several new ACL Pro teams making their debuts, in addition to some strong returning teams and powerhouse players playing without their regular Pro partners. The first round had the first upset of the day as the ACL Pro team of Nate Voyer and Kevin Smith took down fellow ACL Pros Jay Rubin and Jordan Power in their first match together. Jay and Jordan rebounded nicely however, to finish 5-1 and secure the #6 seed in the main bracket, while Nate and Kevin slipped a little, finishing 4-2 taking the #29 seed.
Steven Bernacet and Tom Gustafson raced to a 4-0 start which included a huge win in round 3 over Matt and Bret Guy who had teamed up for this event, but then dropped to 4-2 and the 37 seed after losing their last two games to the ACL Pro teams of Windsor/Herrera and the newly formed team of Matthew Morton/Eian Cripps. Speaking of those two teams, they were the only two teams to survive rounders without a defeat at 6-0. Not surprising for the long-established and veteran team of Windsor/Herrera, but the Morton/Cripps team opened some eyes in their first tournament together.
Due to a better point differential, the #1 seed for the main bracket would go to Ryan and Isidro, while Matthew and Eian would go in as the #2 seed. Guy nation rebounded from their loss to Bernacet/Gustafson to finish rounders at 5-1 and take the #3 seed. The #4 seed would go to ACL Pro Jacob Beamer and rookie ACL Pro Noah Almanza whose only blemish was in round 5 to rookie ACL Pro Tanner Halbert and Jordan Camba. Jordan and Tanner had seemed to be on a mission through 5 rounds, appearing dominating at times – until they faced Windsor/Herrera in round 6.
That loss dropped them to 5-1 and the #5 seed. Rounding out the top 8 seeds were Jeremy Schermerhorn/Brian Schram (5-1, 7th), and Tom Walter/Steve Schroeder (5-1, 8th). A total of 38 teams went 4-2 or better and qualified for the Tier 1 bracket.
While Rounders determined who made Tier 1, and how the teams would be seeded – once in the Tier 1 bracket, the records mentioned above became irrelevant and the teams had to navigate their way through a loaded double-elimination bracket. Ryan and Isidro made it boring by riding the #1 seed path all way to the Championship… besting a game Jay Rubin and Jordan Power in the finals.
Guy Nation advanced to the winner bracket finals, knocking off Rubin/Power along the way before falling to Windsor Herrera, and then seeing Rubin/Power extract revenge in the elimination bracket championship match. Joe Kniesteadt and Nico Mireles made an impressive run, securing a 4th place finish. Solid finishes also for Jeremy Schermerhorn/Brian Schram and Jacob Beamer/Noah Almanza tying for 5th. Tying for 7th were the Ochoas and Kyle Hutley/Alex Hicks.
There were no rounders games played for the ACL Open Singles, as this year players are slotted into Tier levels based on their ACL skill level. With this being the first ACL Open of the year, the 170 players assigned to Tier 1 were split into 4 brackets using random seeding.
Steven Bernacet took down bracket A over rookie ACL Pro Mark Richards, with Noah Almanza finishing 3rd and Jordan Camba 4th.
This bracket nearly belonged to Jordan Power who only gave up 6 points total (in 5 games total) on the way to the King’s Seat. Hat’s off to ACL Pro Jeremy Frazier for knocking Matt Guy into the elimination bracket to make it as far as the winner bracket championship match before falling to Jordan. But Matt Guy would come through the elimination bracket on a mission and get his revenge on Jeremy and then pull off the double dip of Jordan, taking down Bracket B. Jalen Jones with a nice run took 4th.
Two extremely reliable and too often overlooked ACL Pros met up in the king’s seat match in Dave Sutton and Justin Lang. Dave took the win and then took home the bracket championship against Avery Dean who finished with an impressive second place bracket finish after beating Justin in the elimination bracket final. Justin finished 3rd and rookie ACL Pro Jareth Nichols finished 4th.
This may have been the deepest bracket, it saw Tanner Halbert defeat Ryan Windsor in the Kings seat match, then Ryan dropped down to the elimination bracket final where he succumbed to Jay Rubin who went on to pull off an impressive double dip against Tanner. Jeremy Schermerhorn had a nice run and finished with a strong fourth place finish in this deep bracket.
Rubin took down Bernacet and Guy took down Sutton, both in impressive fashion. In the end, no one was going to deny Matt Guy though as he emerges with the first Bacardi Spiced ACL Open Singles Win of the season! Guy’s performance on the weekend was simply dominant, laying a marker down for anyone who may have doubted him.
Top Individual Performances:
Matt Guy: Averaged an 11.08 across all events; appears to be in prime form throwing Fire Incinerators and re-incorporating a step into his throw
Jordan Power: Second highest PPR across all events with a 10.66; simply dominant at times, had the misfortune of being in the same bracket as Matt Guy for singles – but his overall performance was impressive finishing 2nd in doubles and 5th in singles
Noah Almanza: A rookie ACL Pro to keep your eyes on, had the 3rd highest PPR across all events at 9.92; finished 9th overall in singles and 5th in doubles
Jay Rubin: Solid performance from start to finish; 2nd in both singles and doubles; finished 8th in PPR over all events
Be sure to check out all the ACL Pros here