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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 4:26 p.m., Thursday, July 22, 2004

Kaua'i's Irons wins Billabong Pro

Advertiser Staff

Hawai'i's Andy Irons — riding a perfect 10 — defeated Australia's Nathan Hedge today to win the Billabong Pro today at Jeffreys Bay, South Africa.

Irons, the two-time defending world champion from Kaua'i, routed Hedge, 16.83 to 8.0, in 4- to 6-foot waves to earn the $30,000 first prize.

Irons leads this year's tour with 5,016 points and holds a commanding lead over second-place Kelly Slater, who has 3,552.

Irons scored the only 10 of the meet from the five judges. Averaged scores from the best two rides count toward the final score.

Earlier, Irons pulled out a 13.84 to 12.17 victory over Jake Paterson of Australia in clean 3- to 5-foot sets. Irons trailed for most of the 30-minute heat before scoring 6.17 on a wave with 3:32 remaining to move ahead for good.

Hedge ousted Hawai'i's Sunny Garcia, in the other semifinal. Garcia briefly led with about five minutes left in the heat, but Hedge scored an 8.00 on a wave 30 seconds later and went on to win, 16.67 to 13.33.

Earlier, Irons beat Michael Lowe of Australia, 15.50 to 8.17, in the quarterfinals.

Garcia advanced with a quarterfinal win over Greg Emslie of South Africa (11.67 to 11.33).