By MIKE SMITH
On Aug. 24 and 25, the Pro Squash Tour made a stop in Mamaroneck, pitting some top international players against each other in the Buffalo Wild Wings Open. South African Tertius Raubenheimer came away with the tournament win, topping Ricky Weisskopf in the finals on Sunday afternoon.
Raubenheimer claimed the championship with 11-9, 11-7, 11-4 win over the four-time El Salvadorian national champ in the first leg of PST’s season.
Raubenheimer beat close friend Ned Marks in to reach the finals on Saturday, and said that the playing conditions this weekend worked in his favor.
“I had played a hard match the night before, but I also felt like it was a really hot court and it simulated playing at a high altitude,” he said. “That makes it harder to control the ball, but I was in better condition since I’m training for the New York City Marathon.”
American Ned Marks took third place earlier in the day with a hard-fought victory over Welshman Rob Wilkins, beating him 7-11, 11-7, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9.
The win was the first PST victory for Raubenheimer, a member of the tour since 2011. Since he resides in Pelham and also coaches squash in Bronxville, Raubenheimer considered this tournament especially important, considering it was being played on his home turf.
“It felt really good to do it in my home, in my community,” said the champ. “I had friends who could come out to this one, which definitely made it a little more special.”
The Pro Squash Tour has been around since 2008, holding tournaments in both America and Asia, gaining a solid foothold in the eastern United States. As both a player and a coach, Raubenheimer has been pleased to see how American fans have taken to the sport.
“This is a big deal wherever I go,” he said. “It’s a fantastic thing to have these local pro tournaments so people can see the game for themselves and get involved with it.”
Even for those who aren’t interested in a squash career, said Raubenheimer, the game can be quite rewarding.
“It’s a lifetime sport and it’s fun,” he said. “It’s something you can play from when you’re very young to very old.”
The PST season runs through May, when the World Championships will be held in Detroit, Mich. The next event will be the N.Y. Open, which will be held in New York City on September 24.