There were three big events in April, two of them in Europe. The May Open Rankings see a huge shuffling this month, with European players making strong moves.
Paganello, worth more points as a Tour category event, helped many players this month. All the Paganello winners gained points. Paul Kenny (co-op) and Tom Leitner (pairs) added enough to sneak above Dave Murphy in the top five. Kenny moves up to number three, and Leitner to number four.
Clay Collera vaults up seven places to his career high at eleven. Winning pairs with Leitner at Paganello, then placing second in Podersdorf helped Collera replace some points he lost last month.
Gary Auerbach (co-op) moves up five spots to nineteen for a much-deserved return to the top twenty. Reto Zimmerman (co-op), who plays few freestyle events, bounces back into the top forty at number 34 with only two results.
A huge crop of promising Italian freestylers make big moves on thi month. Edoardo Favorini and Alessandro Damiano made both finals at Paganello. Favorini jumps twenty-four spots into the top fifty at 45, and Damiano moves up twenty two spots to 56.
Matteo Gaddoni played both Paganello and Podersdorf and moves up thirty-four notches to 49.
The biggest moves of the month, though, come from Milan’s Antonio Piccione Cusma and Andrea Meola. Piccio and Meola won Podersdorf for their first title and had a solid Paganello finish. Piccio moves up nearly ninety spots to number 58, and Meola moves up one hundred and eighty spots to 74. Fellow Milan player Andrea Gallotti teamed up with Gaddoni for fourth place at Podersdorf, moving Gallotti into the top 100 at 88.
Fabio Sanna makes an auspicious first appearance on the rankings, debuting at 86 after playing Paganello and Podersdorf.
Dori Yaniv jumps up twenty-four spots to 75 after placing top five in both Paganello divisions.
The Virginia States did not have as profound effect on the rankings as the European tournaments. Most of the participants had already accumulated plenty of rankings points – the upside was not as great as for the newer competitive players in Europe.
All the Virginia States winners moved up a few spots. Rob Fried is up two to 21, Joey Hudoklin is up four to 28, and Doug Simon is up three to 41. Alan Caplin is playing a lot of events this year, and his ranking is reflecting his strong finishes. After starting the year at 68, Caplin is now at 37 after his runner-up finish in Virginia.
Bill Wright moves back into the top 50 after teaming up with rising star Rob Knapik for third place in Virginia. Knapik moves up nearly sixty spots to 124.
Podersdorf attracted an amazing international field, with several intermediate teams entering in addition to the pro field. With robust entries at Virginia and Paganello, this month’s rankings boast 28 entries onto the open rankings. Though a few of the 28 have been on the rankings before, it’s great to see so many new names in the sport.
The top-ranked women players were inactive this month, so the Women’s Rankings stay pretty much the same, like last month. Hila Yaniv (#26) and Jen Griffin ((#31) were the only female players to pick up points in April.