William Pettis and Ai-Tai Lo, in 12th place after two qualifying sessions of the Wernher Open Pairs, charged into the lead after the first final and scored well again in the evening to win the event by xxx.
Lo and Pettis live in the Washington DC area. Lo, of Reston VA, is a software engineer. Pettis, of Silver Spring MD, is a bridge pro.
Second place went to Mark Itabashi, Murrieta CA, and Peter Gelfand, Corralitos CA.
At the start of play on Thursday, Lo and Pettis were 63.64 matchpoints off the pace, but they fashioned a 67% game in the first final session to take the lead and built on it with a 59% second final session.
The win was the fifth North American championship for Pettis, who has three wins in the Freeman Mixed Board-a-Match Teams and one in the Jacoby Open Swiss Teams. Lo won his second, the other being the 2002 Lebhard IMP Pairs.