Tuesday, January 26, 2010

2010 Pat Apple

The Pat Apple tournament is a testament to the pioneering of he Mission Hills croquet club founder and her efforts to make this the best venue in the country. This is one of the rare handicap format tournaments in the United States. Several players were experiencing their first association rules games with the kind safety net of several bisques in each game. We had 17 players in two flights of singles with 16 in two blocks of waterford doubles.

The opening reception was hosted by the Gordon and Roswitha Smale at their beautiful home where tournament director, Ben Rothman, scrambled to please the players by shuffling the schedule around like a black jack dealer.

In a happy initiation, Helen Orgill managed to go undefeated in the doubles block and took the first place trophy undisputedly. This tournament was a first to Mike and Brenda Corrigan who showed great improvement game to game as they became more familiar with the rules and tactics. None of the three had ever played a game of association rues before, talk about trial by fire!

The shot of the tournament came from Ruth Stotter in a grudge match against her husband. The potentially divisive handicap game against Larry, a successful divorce attorney, went to overtime tied at 11 with Ruth's balls for hoop 3 and 4-back. Ruth hit her partner near hoop five and had one of Larry's balls near hoop three, which was the striker ball's wicket. Onlookers thought any drama would come on a hoop shot after a nice take off to the ball in question, but Ruth would have none of it. The famed storyteller chose to make her own drama by rolling the 50 feet down towards hoop three and the nearby ball. On this well executed full roll, Ruth ended up five feet from the ball she needed while she managed to send her partner through 4-back. That's right, from 16 yards Ruth peeled 4-back to win in overtime. Who needs the stress of shooting a hoop when you can just end the game right there.

Despite the advantage of bisques, championship flight came down to those with the lowest handicaps. Ron Hendry played a level match against Mike Orgill in the semi-finals with only one loss in the entire tournament. That one loss came from undefeated Bob Van Tassell who dispatched of last year's finalist, Jim Butts, in another no bisque game to earn the spot against Ron in the final. Even after using his half-bisque to get control, Ron's hoop shooting was no match for “Sandy” Bob's consistent play and exciting hit ins. Bob managed to take his first tournament win in championship flight and instantly double it with an undefeated record in doubles as well. Van Tassell was kind enough to host a cocktail hour on his court side rooftop bar after the dominant victory, proving he can be a gracious host as well as a championship calibre croquet player.

First Flight
Doubles Jubilee
1.Helen Orgill
2.Jerry Evans
3.Ruth Stotter
4.Brenda Corrigan
5.Mike Corrigan
6.Preston Ormsby
7.LouAnn Evans
8.Larry Stotter

Championship Flight
Delicious Doubles
1.Bob Van Tassell
2.Judy Dahlstrom
3.Mike Orgill
4.Marty Ormsby
5.Ron Hendry
6.Gordon Milse
7.Art Silber
8.Toni Kemp

Second Flight Singles
McIntosh Ladder
1.Judy Dahlstrom
2.Ruth Stotter
3.Karen Comeau
4.Larry Stotter

First Flight Singles
Fuji Ladder
1.Mick Greagsby
2.Toni Kemp
3.Bob Riddell
4.Bob Kays
5.Phyllis Butts
5.Gordon Milse

Championship Singles
Gala Ladder
1.Bob Van Tassell
2.Ron Hendry
3.Mike Orgill
4.Jim Butts
5.Marty Ormsby
5.Marvin Salles

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