It really didn't look good for Ezekiel Lau on paper. With just of a handful of potential double qualifiers heading into the Billabong Pipe Masters, his chances for slipping into the last slot on the 2017 Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour were pretty slim. And one by one they started to fall... saved for the most unlikely of Pipe performers, rookie Kanoa Igarashi.
Surfing in his first Pipe Masters ever, nobody expected Igarashi to make it far. In fact, he'd only been past Round Three one time all season. But none of that seemed to matter to Igarashi... or his buddy Zeke. Both have been staying at Backdoor all winter, and knowing it could come down to Kanoa, Zeke let him in on every little secret.
And it paid off.
Incredibly, the California rookie kept winding his way through Backdoor barrels and winning heats. He beat both Kelly Slater and Jordy Smith not once, but twice, on his way to the Final - his first CT Final. But the big moment came in the Quarters when he eliminated Jordy Smith and clinched Zeke's spot on next year's Championship Tour.
Here's how it all went down, including the reactions from Kanoa and Zeke.