Prize money in pickleball? Are you kidding me? It’s happened. Gigi LeMaster and Dee Davison awarded $6,600 in prize money at their inaugural LeMaster-Davison Classic Pickleball Championships. Every division, regardless of skill level was awarded $400 with the gold medal, $100 with the silver medal and $50 with the bronze medal.
Sun Lakes superstar Sheila Parkinson has now won more money playing pickleball than anyone in our community. The top prize and gold medal went to Sheila Parkinson and Mary Park playing in the 3.5 Women’s Doubles division. Sheila and Mary went undefeated through the winners’ bracket only to lose to the losers’ bracket winner 11-3, 11-3. With both teams having lost one match, the sudden death final match was a thriller with Sheila and Mary prevailing 15-11. The smiles on Sheila’s and Mary’s faces were priceless when they received their $400 first place prize.
But Sheila wasn’t done. With her mixed doubles partner, Steve Smitham, she continued her winning ways plowing through the winners’ bracket losing a nail biter 11-6, 9-11, 11-9 throwing them into the bronze medal match. Unfortunately, in another tightly contested contest, the powerful duo of Parkinson/Smitham came up just short losing 11-7, 11-9; $50 was awarded along with the bronze medal to Steve and Sheila capping a tournament filled with excitement. Congratulations Sheila, Mary and Steve!