History made at ToC with a huge double Triple Crown
Brigham City, UT (August 20, 2023) — Until Saturday, Ben Johns was the only male to win a triple crown.
Until Saturday, Catherine Parenteau had only won a single triple crown.
And then Saturday happened.
Tyson McGuffin went gold three times and Parenteau did the same, making them the only two people in PPA Tour tournament history other than Ben Johns, Anna Leigh Waters, and Simone Jardim to earn a Triple Crown.
McGuffin managed to do it at the tournament where he had earned his first medal ever, seven years ago – and after taking a significant amount of time off this summer. Similarly, Parenteau scored her triple on Saturday after taking two full months off from the pro tour.
Maybe a little rest and relaxation was just what the doctor ordered.
The two also achieved pickleball’s highest honor together. Each winning in doubles, working as teammates in mixed doubles, and then finishing up a perfect day by winning in singles.
An historic day at Brigham City’s and Vulcan’s Tournament of Champions.
“It’s super special,” McGuffin said. “I’ve put everything into this thing.”
A prolific tour winner, McGuffin has won 65 medals, second only to Johns in the men’s medal count and his 65th, which resulted after winning seven games in a row on a busy Saturday in Utah, might have been McGuffin’s best.
McGuffin finished play late Friday night, played the first match of the day Saturday morning and promptly lost the first two games alongside partner James Ignatowich. But the two rallied for an incredible “pickle” in game three, winning it 11-0 against Riley Newman and AJ Koller. This gave them the momentum they were looking for, and they went on to win the final two games, marking an incredible turnaround to gold.
If you missed it, the men’s doubles final is one to rewatch, with McGuffin hyping the crowd at every opportunity and using his personality and gamesmanship to bull his way to victory.
McGuffin’s first final featured three games in a row against Newman and Koller, two games against surprise finalists Tina Pisnik and Patrick Smith in the mixed doubles final before Smith had to retire due to injury, and then the unlikeliest of wins on the singles court when he rallied from a 9-2 deficit against Connor Garnett in his last game of the day.
“Just grit,” McGuffin said. “Determination. Being mentally tough. Never say never.”
The grit that powered McGuffin through a warm Saturday in Utah was the same that got him his first medal, on these same courts in Brigham City seven years ago where he slept in his car between matches.
He wasn’t sleeping in his car this weekend.
“It’s special,” McGuffin said. “I want to give credit to my wife and my trainer and my agent and my health team. I couldn’t do it without them.”
And McGuffin couldn’t have done it without Parenteau either. The two talked throughout the day, encouraging each other along the way to a record day.
Parenteau finished it with a straight-set undoing of Salome Devidze and smiled wide while lifting her trophy for the third time in the day.
Not bad for a first tournament back after an eight-week layoff and not bad for a player who wasn’t sure if she could actually win. But ultimately not surprising for a player who has won 83 medals in her PPA career.
“I didn’t think I was going to get it,” Parenteau said of the triple crown. “It’s been two months. How was I going to do it? I was in panic mode.”
If she was rusty it didn’t show. If she was nervous, Parenteau turned into a positive.