McDermott Triumphs at Myrtle Beach Open

By Tim Connelly | Jan. 30, 2018, 6:44 p.m. (ET)

The Myrtle Beach Table Tennis Club sure knows how to make you feel welcome! 29 players participated in the 2018 Myrtle Beach Open, sponsored by Zeropong, and a winning combination of great matches, great competition, and great sportsmanship prevailed as it usually does in our great game. John McDermott played brilliantly to carry home both the bragging rights and the big money with his first place finish over Aldin Monzales Soneja. 

John’s game had an impressive combination of power and spin but this teenage prodigy (already rated over 2100) also managed his game brilliantly as he demonstrated poise and sportsmanship throughout the tournament. Aldin was rated 1965 but still almost pulled it out with a gutty display of topnotch table tennis. In fact, he went up two games before John upped his game from there and pulled it out with some gritty play of his own. 

Corey Mcelveen played like he always plays- giving no quarter while hitting outstanding counter drives at every turn, but it was only good enough for 4thplace as Joey Drolet used his combination of medium pips- short pips to take 3rd Place. Joey had never played with this combination before but was able to add a little extra consistency to his always awesome power game.

In the B Division, David Pannell emerged from the pack with an undefeated performance in his first sanctioned tournament in 5 years. David is now officially all the way back from the severe burns that took him away from the game for the better part of two years. Welcome back, David- things weren’t the same while you were away! He met a tough match in the finals against Phil Dulin who took him to 4 games and won all of his matches except the one against David. The B Division was very strong with 7 players rated over 1400. 

In the C Division, Grey Wollman went undefeated and beat Robert Bryan in the finals. Three of the games were decided at 9 as Grey pulled it out in 4. This was his first USATT tournament and came out of it with a rating of over 1200. Congrats to Grey!

There were new players, young players and then there was 75 year old Fred van Nynatten holding up the banner for us older players- winning a couple of matches and playing competitively against everybody. South Carolina players made a good show with Joey from Charleston taking 3rd Place and Corey from Myrtle Beach taking 4th. Both the B Division winner and the C Division winner were Myrtle Beach boys. They proved that home field advantage is as important as they say or at least until someone as talented as John steps to the table!

I would like to thank Amy Karpinski and Tony Murnahan for running the tournament. It ran very smoothly with no glitches but there is one sad thing to mention. Tournament organizer and Director of the Fayetteville, NC club for the last 8 years, Richard Perez will be leaving us to move to Florida. Richie will be sorely missed but I want to use this article to thank him for all he’s done for our sport. You are a whole chapter in any book on Southeastern NC table tennis. Florida is getting a good man!