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Talisman Energy Bankers Hall Club Pro Am
19-22 Jan, Calgary, Canada, $10k

22-Jan, Final:

Bob Ballinger reports
For the second year in a row Chris Simpson has won the Talisman Energy Bankers Hall Club Pro Am squash tournament. The number two seed was clearly the class of the field this week as did not lost a single game throughout the tenth annual event at Bankers Hall Club in downtown Calgary.

In the final Simpson was never threatened in either of the first two games winning them both comfortably by scores of 11/3 and 11/4. Simpson was determined not to let Au have any opportunity to get in front of him with time to utilize his great front court game. The third game saw the players go point for point until Simpson broke free from 5/5 to take an 8/5 lead. Upon winning the final rally a fist pump from Simpson signalled his satisfaction at securing his title here for the second time. Simpson showed his experience in each match here against younger opponents and his ability to solve the lively/altitude aided conditions left all of them shaking their heads at times as well.

Two things should be noted here...first of all the success of a trio of players here this week. Calgarians Andrew Schnell, Graeme Schnell, and David Letourneau all had great success here this week with national team member Andrew Schnell making his way to the semi finals. Along with another Calgary player Andrew McDougall (currently injured) they grew up watching matches in this tournament in the PSA event as kids playing in the local amateur divisions. All of them are now one of those PSA "big boys" playing in front of packed galleries and no doubt there are other youngsters here wondering if they too will be doing the same thing here in years to come.

Secondly, in the ten years of this event the champions list has names of players that were, or are, well known on the world circuit.....players such as two time champions Chris Simpson and Arturo Salazar, Borja Golan, Cameron Pilley, Tommy Berden, Matthew Giuffre, Shahier Razik, and Daryl Selby. Other great players and crowd favorites that have played this event but were unable to win it include Peter Barker, Miguel Rodriguez, Simon Rosner, Jonathon Kemp, Rafael Alarcon, Eric Galvez, Ben Garner, Martin Knight, Alan Clyne and Jan Koukal to name only a few of many. A big thanks to our title sponsor Talisman Energy for their support not only this year but for each of the ten years of this event. We hope that relationship continues here for another ten years!

Bankers Hall Club Pro Am 2012
19-22 Jan, Calgary, Canada, $10k
Round One
19 Jan
20 Jan
21 Jan
22 Jan
[1] Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas)
10/12, 11/9, 11/9, 7/11, 11/9 (94m)
Charles Sharpes (Eng)
Charles Sharpes
9-11 11-8 13-11 11-8 (93m)
Lewis Walters
Charles Sharpes

11/7, 11/4, 11/7 (61m)

Leo Au

Leo Au

11/3, 11/4, 11/7 (40m)

[2] Chris Simpson

Matthew Serediak (Can)
1/4, 11/9, 11/6 (32m)
Lewis Walters (Eng)
Erik Tepos Valtierra (Mex)
11/7, 11/7, 12/ 10 (45m)
Leo Au (Hkg)
Leo Au
9-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 (55m)
Scott Arnold
Scott Arnold (Aus)
11/5, 12/10, 11/6 (34m)
[4] Dick Lau (Hkg)
[3] Jan Koukal (Cze)
11/5, 6/11, 11/5, 11/13, 12/10 (87m)
Andrew Schnell (Can)
Andrew Schnell
11/7, 11/7, 11/1 (41m)
Graeme Schnell
Andrew Schnell

11/4, 11/5, 11/3 (45m)

[2] Chris Simpson

Alfredo Avila (Mex)
11/9, 12/10, 3/11, 11/8 (64m)
Graeme Schnell (Can)
David Letourneau (Can)
11/5, 11/3, 11/4 (25m)
Fred Reid (Can)
David Letourneau
11/7, 11/7, 11/6 (46m)
[2] Chris Simpson
Dane Sharp (Can)
11/5, 11/5, 12/10 (54m)
[2] Chris Simpson (Eng)
2011 Event  | 2010 Event 

22-Jan, Final:  Simpson retains the title

21-Jan, Semis:

Bob Ballinger reports
Defending champion Chris Simpson is poised to join Arturo Salazar as the only back to back winners of the Talisman Energy Bankers Hall Club Pro Am in Calgary, Alberta Canada.

To do so though he will have to overcome the very impressive world #87 Leo Au of Hong Kong who like Simpson has seemed to get better each match of this tenth annual event here.

Leo Au (HKG) vs Charles Sharpes (ENG)

In front of a packed afternoon crowd in downtown Calgary Leo Au put an end to the impressive run of Charles Sharpes in a straight games victory. Sharpes had spent over 90 minutes on court in each of his previous two matches and possibly was a half step off his pace of the first two matches.

This is not to take anything away from Au who has shown the squash enthusiasts here a wonderful combination of smooth movement on court as well as great touch on the lively altitude courts here. In each game of their 61 minute match Au was always a comfortable number of points ahead of Sharpes, who was unable to put himself into Sunday's final.

#2 Chris Simpson (ENG) vs Andrew Schnell (CAN)

In the second semi final of the day it was a rematch of a first round encounter between these two players from last year at this tournament where Simpson started his run to winning the tournament by beating Schnell in straight games. So could Schnell after one more year of experience on the PSA circuit as well as international team play with Canada's national team improve on last years result with Simpson?

Sadly for the young Calgary player there would not be a victory today as the defending champion Simpson turned in a near perfect match as he took out Schnell in three games lasting 45 minutes. A total of 3 unforced errors from Simpson as well as precision tight shots that did not allow Schnell to have any opportunity to put any sustained pressure on Simpson where a big reason why the local could get any sort of rhythm going in his favour.

Simpson's game today truly was one of the most impressive displays of squash we have seen here for quite some time as showed not only his experience of being on the circuit for longer than Schnell but also how he was able to cope with the lively courts here with altitude in downtown Calgary.

So we are suddenly down to two......and it should be a great match with the very fluid smooth style of the Hong Kong player Leo Au up against the all round game of the defending champion Chris Simpson.

20-Jan, Quarters:

Bob Ballinger reports
After a week of abnormal freezing winter temperatures and a first day full of upsets on the court, things have come back to order here in Calgary after quarter final play in the 10th annual Talisman Energy Bankers Hall Club Pro Am.

A week that had seen winter finally arrive with temperatures as low as minus 40C and a day of squash where three of the top four seeds were sent packing, we are back to normal here as all the players moved true to form and the weather is back near zero degrees.

Charles Sharpes (ENG) vs Lewis  Walters (ENG)

The biggest giant killer of day one, Charles Sharpes continued his impressive run here as followed up his 94 minute dismissal of the #1 seed by beating fellow Englishman Lewis Walters in a long four game match that went 93 minutes. That gives Sharpes a total of three hours and seven minutes of court time in his two matches! There was never more than a three point difference at any time between these two with Sharpes being able to string a crucial run from 6-6 in the fourth game to take a 9-6 lead which he rode to 11-8 final game result thus enabling him to be the first player here to reach the semi finals.

Leo Au (HKG) vs Scott Arnold (AUS)

Neither of these two players were given too much of a test in round one so it was assured that they would be fresh for this match. Tough no doubt for them to get going after waiting for the marathon match before them to end and it was Arnold who was able to squeeze out a tight first game 11-9. From there on though it was the very impressive young Hong Kong star who displayed his smooth patient game and rode that to a comfortable four game victory.

#2 Chris Simpson (ENG) vs David Letourneau (CAN)

Defending champion and number two seed Simpson was in fine form tonight and demonstrated once again that his game really can match up against whatever style is thrown his way. Tonight it was the aggressive and attacking style of Letourneau that came his way with Simpson showing his disappointing result in last weeks Vancouver tournament was no doubt a thing of the past. A very entertaining straight games victory for Simpson but no doubt a great shot of experience for the talented youngster who was playing in his hometown in front of family and friends.

Andrew Schnell (CAN) vs WC Graeme Schnell (CAN)

There has been many memorable matches in the history of this tournament as well as many much anticipated matches here too. This was one that was very highly anticipated due in large part to the fact that the brothers were playing in their hometown as well as that many in the crowd had watched them play numerous local tournaments over the years.

No doubt the heavy favourite was the younger Schnell but some wondered how he would handle playing not just his brother and great friend, but doing it on such a big stage....the reward to be a berth in the semi finals here. The match was much like others with these two.....Andrew being able to dictate play most of the time with long rallies and great retrieving by both players. With their father nervously looking on and their mother just too anxious to even come and watch them it was Andrew who secured his spot in the semis.

So its onto the semis now ... one must wonder just how much can be left in the tank for the impressive Charles Sharpes as he will take on the talented young Leo Au. And in a rematch of their first round match here one year ago, the defending champion Chris Simpson will have his hands full with not only the local star Andrew Schnell but also knowing the home crowd will surely be pulling for Schnell to reach his first ever PSA final!


19-Jan, Round One:

Bob Ballinger reports
Despite sub zero temperatures hitting the city of Calgary early this week first round play was very heated in many aspects as day one of the tenth annual Talisman Energy Bankers Hall Club Pro Am is now in the books.

Never in the history of this tournament has there been so many upsets on the first day and never before have three Calgarians made their way into the quarter finals!

#1 Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) vs Charles Sharpes (ENG) - top seed and current world #32 Adnan was the first seed to bow out of the tournament as he went down in five long tough games to impressive Charles Sharpes of England in a five game 95 minute battle. The packed lunch time crowd at Bankers Hall Club were treated to a real back and forth match that never saw more than a four point difference between the two players and after 95 minutes Sharpes had pulled out a huge huge win.

Lewis Walters (ENG) vs Matthew Serediak (CAN) - Canada's first hope of the day was with Serediak who was added to the draw after the withdrawal of Stephane Galifi. Suffering from the after effects of a bad cold he was unable to keep up with the pace that Walters put him under going down in three games.

#4 Dick Lau (HKG) vs Scott Arnold (AUS) - court 4 here claimed its second successive seeded victim as Lau went down rather quietly to the tall Aussie in three straight games. Arnold who was ranked in low 50's at one point showed that he just may start to push back to that level again in an all round impressive match.

Leo Au (HKG) vs Erik Tepos Valterra - Hong Kong hopes stayed alive here as Au was able to hold off his Mexican opponent in a 45 minute straight games victory as the lunch time session of four matches wrapped up with this one.

#2 Chris Simpson (ENG) vs Dane Sharp (CAN) - defending champion Simpson show cased his impressive all round game here as he took out the improving Canadian Sharp in a long three game match to start off the evening session of matches here. In a repeat of their four game quarter final of last year in this tournament Sharp was able to put a big push in the third game losing that one 12-10 to close out the match.

WC Graeme Schnell (CAN) vs Alfredo Avila (MEX) - in his first official PSA event local Calgarian and tournament wild card Schnell thrilled the hometown crowd with a very exciting four game victory over Mexican national team member Avila. After winning a very tight first two games Schnell lost his way in third game only to prevail with a strong fourth game to take the victory.

#3 Jan Koukal (CZE) vs Andrew Schnell (CAN) - in a much anticipated match, Canadian Mens team member Schnell joined his older brother in the quarter finals with a hard fought victory over tour veteran Koukal in 87 minutes. Things looked to be well in hand for Schnell as he led two games to one and 8-3 in the fourth only to see Koukal impose his experience to steal that game 13-11 despite a match ball against him. The fifth game then seemed to be in Koukal's control as he led 7-3 only to see Schnell win seven straight points to reach match ball at 10-7. Again Koukal dug in and tied things up at 10-10 only to see Schnell secure a quarter final berth against his older brother.

Fred Reid (CAN) vs David Letourneau (CAN) - the final match of the night showcased two more of Canada's impressive young players with Calgary raised Letourneau joining the Canadian crowd in the quarter finals with an impressive straight games win over Reid.

So its onto the quarter finals here in the Stampede city........some exciting match ups to come no doubt about it! For the first time ever here we having three Calgarians in the quarter finals and we are assured on one to be in the semis! Sharpes and Walters; Arnold and Au; Schnell and Schnell; and defending champ Simpson and Letourneau.......each match has potential to be outstanding!

Ten and counting for Bankers Hall Club Pro Am
Bob Ballinger reports
The 2012 Talisman Energy Bankers Hall Club Pro-Am Squash Tournament is all set to go later this week at Bankers Hall Club in downtown Calgary, Alberta.

This year was once again a sell out on the amateur side and in record time too with entries having to close a mere three and a half hours after they opened on December 1st!

With 160 amateur entries and another 55 on the waiting list it is once again one of the most popular tournaments anywhere squash is played.

Again a part of this tournament is the Men’s PSA event with 16 of the world’s best up and coming professionals playing for $10,000 US prize money.

This is the tenth year of PSA squash at Bankers Hall Club making it the second longest running event in Canada. Top seed is world #37 Nafiizwan Adnan of Malaysia; second seed is defending champion Chris Simpson of England; Jan Koukal of the Czech Republic who is pretty much a regular at this event is the number three seed; and Dick Lau from Hong Kong rounds out the top four seeds.

Canadian content is highlighted by three Calgary players led by local star Andrew Schnell who is playing full time on the PSA circuit and is also a member of Canada’s National Men’s team; his brother Graeme Schnell makes his first official PSA debut as the tournament wild card; and David Letourneau who had a great junior then college career and is now making his climb quite nicely up the PSA rankings. Other Canadians in the field include Dane Sharp, Matt Serediak, and Fred Reid.

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