Ned Edwards needed only about an hour and just three games - 15-11, 15-9 and 15-14 - to whip John Nimick in Saturday night's finals of the Salt Lake City Open squash tournament at Deseret Gymnasium.
With the competition and its $5,000 prize money part of the World Professional Squash Association's tour this year, the second-seeded Edwards upset the tourney's top-seed by allowing his opponent only two leads in the first two games. Then in the clinching game of the best-of-five series, Edwards was able to hold off a determined Nimick.In the first game, Nimick's only lead was in winning the opening point. Edwards ran up a 6-1 margin and then broke a 9-all tie for the 15-11 victory. His most effect shots were backhand smashs for cross-court corner kills.
Nimick managed a one-time lead in the second game at 5-4, before Edwards went on a 7-1 run, controlling the tempo and forcing his opponent to scramble all across the court during the 15-9 loss.
The third and final game was the most closely contested, with Nimick leading at 3-0 and 5-3 before having to catch up with Edwards to force a series of ties at 7, 9, 11 and 14. Edwards was given the choice of having a one-point-winner-take-the-game tiebreaker or the more recognizable two-point advantage -he chose the former and then claimed the next point for the 15-14 triumph, the three-game victory and first-place honors.
"I was lucky to get that last point," Edwards said afterwards.. "I could just imagine what would be happening if we were still out there playing."
Nimick returned with a challenging verbal volley. "Want to find out?"
A 30-year-old from New York City, Edwards earned the WSPA's No. 2 ranking last year but is currently ranked fourth this season. By contrast, the 30-year old Nimick of Cambridge, Mass., was the No. 3 player last year and is ranked third so far this year.
The tour's top-ranked Mark Talbott did not compete in the Salt Lake City tournament.
In the other competitions: Trey Sayes defeated Dave Waltman in four games in the A division; Michael Burbank need the full five games to down Mark Pea in the B division; Joe Donovan and Gulmast Khan took three straight games from Lowell Durham and Ralph Marsh in the doubles; Jerry Geurts beat Tony Russel 3-0 in the D division, and Terry Chatwin edged John Bennett 3-2 in the 45-plus division.