ASP World Tour Top 32 finalized as Billabong Pro Tahiti completes Round 3
The midseason cut from 45 to 32 surfers on the ASP World Tour roster was completed Wednesday as Round 3 of the Billabong Pro Tahiti was finished in deteriorating conditions at Teahupoo, which forced officials to call off any further competition for the day.
Florida's Damien Hobgood, 31, currently ranked 13th, finalized the cut-off roster by eliminating 29-year-old rookie Marco Polo of Brazil in a tightly fought Round 3 heat.
"It was really close," Hobgood said. "Marco beat Bobby [Martinez] here the other day -- anyone can beat anyone out there. I was hoping for more barrels so it would favor me, but it’s just really small. I’m lucky to get through out there. I knew it could potentially be like this. I hope we get some fun waves in the last few days."
Polo joins the following surfers, who were cut after Round 2 or 3 losses: Drew Courtney (AUS), 31; Neco Padaratz (BRA), 34; Tanner Gudauskas (San Clemente), 22; Mick Campbell (AUS), 34; Kieren Perrow (AUS), 33; Tom Whitaker (AUS), 30; Kekoa Bacalso (HAW), 25; Blake Thornton (AUS), 25; Dean Morrison (AUS), 29; Jay Thompson (AUS), 28; Nate Yeomans (San Clemente), 29, and Ben Dunn (AUS), 24.
In other Round 3 action Wednesday, Patrick Gudauskas, 24, punctuated the morning’s action, executing an incredible rodeo flip in the dying moments of his heat to overtake Australia's Chris Davidson, 33, and advance through to Round 4. His win kept Gudauskas from joining his younger brother, who missed making the cut Tuesday after being defeated by Hawaii's Andy Irons in Round 2.
Event organizers will reconvene Thursday at 6 a.m. local time to assess conditions for a possible 6:30 start.
Billabong Pro Tahiti remaining Round 3 results:
Heat 13: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.50 def. Tamaroa McComb (PYF) 6.83
Heat 14: Andy Irons (HAW) 9.34 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 9.16
Heat 15: Damien Hobgood (USA) 10.77 def. Marco Polo (BRA) 8.74
Heat 16: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 13.43 def. Chris Davidson (AUS) 13.16
Round 4 match-ups:
Heat 1: Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Heat 2: Tiago Pires (PRT) vs. Adriano de Souza (BRA)
Heat 3: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 4: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Manoa Drollet (PYF)
Heat 5: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 6: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 7: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Damien Hobgood (USA)
Heat 8: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
-- Kelly Burgess
Photo: San Clemente's Patrick Gudauskas on his way to victory in Round 3 of the Billabong Pro Tahiti. Credit: © Robertson / ASP