As mentioned in our column earlier this week, the Mr. Price Pro used to be the appetizer leading up to the main course of the ASP's South African leg, which was the Billabong Pro at J-Bay. But now that the once-World Tour staple has been downgraded to six-star potatoes, Mr. Price becomes the South African rock lobster tails. And throughout the last few days, tour heavies and top juniors have been soaking it in butter. But of all the current and past world tour talent on hand, Glenn "Micro" Hall just won the Mr. Price Pro in Ballito, an ASP Prime event.
This has been quite a season for Hall, an Irish surfer who was actually born in Australia. This speedy goofyfoot has been kicking around qualifying events in Australia, Europe and Hawaii for a few years, but without ever garnering a lot of international notice. But at the first ASP event of the year, Hall won the 4-star Hainan Classic in China. And then in May, he snuck up on the finals at the Nike Lowers Pro. Much to everyone's surprise, he now sits at the No. 16 slot in the One World Rankings above the likes of Kolohe Andino and Damien Hobgood.
"It's still a long road ahead and I'm just going to keep trying and see where I end up," Hall told the ASP, "I'm not doing J-Bay (6 Star) and I'm proud of my choice. I came here and put all eggs into one basket because if you are here to qualify its about the Primes. That's my focus so I'm taking it to the next event in America."
Today's conclusion to the Mr. Price Pro (quarters through the finals) pulled in the best surf of the week with four to five-foot lines and offshore winds. Hall had to beat the much-hyped Jack Freestone of Australia, Santa Cruz's Nat Young, and then edged out Nathaniel Curran in the final 15-13.67.
The result is a great finish for Curran as well who won the US Open in 2008 and did a season on the World Tour before falling off. Curran hasn't seen a solid finish in some time.
"It still feels great to get a result," Curran said. "I've been struggling for a year and a half so I'm stoked to make the Final. It was an awesome contest, I've been coming here since I was 18 and the waves are always insane. I love coming here and I can't wait for next year."
Jordy Smith had led a contingent of South Africans. He won this event in 2010, but lost in the quarterfinals to Nat Young. Young lost his semi to Hall by less than a quarter of a point for his best finish of the year.
Next up on the South African leg of the tour is the six-star Billabong Pro South Africa at Jeffrey's Bay, starting July 10. We'll likely see Hall surfing next at the Hurley US Open late this month.MR PRICE PRO FINAL RESULTS:
1 - Glenn Hall (IRL) 15.00
2 - Nathaniel Curran (USA) 13.67
MR PRICE PRO SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
Heat 1: Nathaniel Curran (USA) 12.10 def Adriano De Souza (BRA) 11.00
Heat 2: Glenn Hall (IR) 14.67 def Nat Young (USA) 14.50
MR PRICE PRO QUARTERFINALS RESULTS:
Heat 1: Nathaniel Curran (USA) 11.60 def Travis Logie (ZAF) 10.83
Heat 2: Adriano De Souza (BRA) 17.33 def Brian Toth (PRT) 5.73
Heat 3: Nat Young (USA) 15.00 def Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12.00
Heat 4: Glenn Hall (IR) 10.44 def Jack Freestone (AUS) 9.90