Australian Joel Parkinson edged slightly closer to that elusive maiden world surfing title with a fourth round win at the Santa Cruz ASP event.
Going against Brazilian’s Raoni Monteiro and Alejo Muniz, Parkinson’s win ensured he’d score a minimum of 5200 points at the second last stop of the world tour.
The 31-year-old, 10-year pro is as close to a world title as he’s ever been; Parko was runner-up in 2002, 2004 and 2011. It has been an odd year for Parkinson who hasn’t won an event all year, however even if rival Kelly Slater wins the Californian event he’ll still find himself coming into the year’s finale at Pipeline behind the Australian.
Parkinson took a conservative approach in his Round 4 meet with the Brazilians, selecting only desirable waves for an individual score of 9.50.
“It was really slow at the start and I didn't get a wave for about 11 minutes,” said Parkinson.
“I figured I wasn't going to waste my time on small waves.
“I'd rather lose than see someone get the wave that I wanted.
11-time world champ Slater didn’t have as much luck. He was defeated by Frenchman Jeremy Flores and Tahitian Michel Bourez in the third round, missing automatic qualification, and will have to really fight to make it to the quarters. A win against Brazilian in Adriano De Souza is necessary for a place in the final eight.
Aussies Taj Burrows and youngster Matt Wilkinson also advanced to the quarter-finals.
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