General Slatz remains in control"How embarrassing!"Dane Reynolds is shaking his head, searching for the words to describe what just happened to him at the hands of Kelly Slater."The way I surfed, I woulda got smoked in the NSSA Master's division."

That Dane rode a new board for the first time, or that he cartwheel-ed his first wave, trying a big FS air is no excuse to why General Slatz has destroyed him.

General Slatz is pissed!

"Kelly, Kelly, so are you gonna work Andy this year, or what?" a crazed Slatz fan asks him, somewhere from the melee of mouths, eyes and hands reaching to touch his bald head, and swarm of microphones and cameras attacking him. Kelly turns from a camera, where he's explaining one of his double-pump bottom turns, and flashes a sly grin."Well, that's the plan."

He turns back for the TV camera, but looks directly at his boy, Andy Irons on an overhead set, and beating that to a bloody pulp. He turns from the cameras once more, eyes pinched, face clenched, a fierce intensity surrounding and separating him.

Mr. Andy is bustin' all over, floating and stinging, bringing a tricky, sectioning wave to a world of pain. His timing is elegant like Chopin on the keys, and each turn rockets him into the next. The score is 9.5. Kelly's fresh in from embarrassing one of the hottest young surf stars on the planet, from posting the comp's highest score thus far, a 9.87—a mega float climb to clean, large carve to Lien air ender—and now he's really being challenged. The Kelly/Andy show has come to Cali. Then, let's not forget Mick Fanning; the 23-year-old is also showing amazing form, as are the two favorites. "They can have it," says Fanning, of the media attention given the two frontrunners, "I'm just gonna go out there and light it up."

Other fire starters of the day are Taj Burrow (danger lazer zaps and airs), Taylor Knox (DEEP meditation slams and cuts) and Paulo Moura (angry full-body and head snaps). And the list goes on. Dudes are flipping the rip switch like hot cakes. The waves look like they're trying out for a Juicy Fruit commercial. Surf fans are losing their minds. "Hey, Andy, could you sign my rock?" one guy asks the champ. And the champ is so ripping hot it doesn't even seem weird. Yes, the heat is on. Make sure you don't miss the finals this Sunday. Placed on opposite sides of the draw, Kelly and Andy could potentially meet in one wicked final. If Kelly wins here the title will be virtually his, while an Irons win will undoubtedly make this year's title race a tad exciting.ROUND 3 RESULTS FOR FRIDAY 9/16
(1st place advances to Round 4; 2nd finishes =17th)

Heat # 1: Taj Burrow def. Tim Curran
Heat # 2: Jake Paterson def. Sunny Garcia
Heat # 3: Taylor Knox def. Lee Winkler
Heat # 4: Trent Munro def. Shea Lopez
Heat # 5: Kalani Robb def. Nathan Hedge
Heat # 6: Tim Reyes def. Cory Lopez
Heat # 7: Troy Brooks def. Travis Logie
Heat # 8: Kelly Slater def. Dane Reynolds
Heat # 9: Andy Irons def. Guilherme Herdy
Heat #10: Richie Lovett def. Marcelo Nunes
Heat #11: Phil MacDonald def. Luke Stedman
Heat #12: Greg Emslie def. Damien Hobgood
Heat #13: Mick Fanning def. Kirk Flintoff
Heat #14: Paulo Moura def. Peterson Rosa
Heat #15: {{{CJ}}} Hobgood def. Shane Beschen
Heat #16: Victor Ribas def. Fred Patacchia UPCOMING ROUND 4 HEATS:
(1st Place advances to Quarterfinals; 2nd finishes =9th)

Heat # 1: Taj Burrow v. Jake Paterson
Heat # 2: Taylor Knox v. Trent Munro
Heat # 3: Kalani Robb v. Tim Reyes
Heat # 4: Kelly Slater v. Troy Brooks
Heat # 5: Andy Irons v. Richie Lovett
Heat # 6: Phil MacDonald v. Greg Emslie
Heat # 7: Mick Fanning v. Paulo Moura
Heat # 8: CJ Hobgood v. Victor Ribas