Patrick Gudauskas – almost made it

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While he put on an admirable run on the 2008 World Qualifying Series, Patrick Gudauskas, eldest in the Gudauskas clan, came up just two spots shy of qualification for the 2009 World Tour.  At different points throughout the season, Patrick looked to be a lock in for a spot on the 2009 tour.  He had an amazing run in the front half of the year, and continued to do well through Just a couple months back, he was sitting at 4th place in the rankings on the WQS, a seemingly untoppable position.  Patrick’s fortune began to change at the Estoril Coast Pro in October, where he saw his ranking drop from 6th to 14th.  Last month’s Reef Hawaiian Pro was unkind to Patrick, again dropping his ranking from 14th to 16th, after he bowed out in his very first heat at Haleiwa.  When the O’Neill World Cup rolled around and Sunset turned on, it looked like Patrick was on his way to earning his spot back in the top 15.  He scored the highest wave score of the day in his first heat in Round 4, but fell just short of advancing through Round 5, when he was edged out by an on-fire Jordy Smith (ZAF) and Dion Atkinson (AUS).  Finishing up the year in 17th place on the WQS, Patrick is unfortunately forced to put in another year on the World Qualifying Series.  The bad news is that he’ll have to go through the WQS all over again.  The good news is that he’ll do it with a higher seed and again with his two brothers in tow.  We’ll all be looking forward to seeing Patrick on the 2010 World Tour.

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