World Championship - Day 3 & 4
Tuesday was play-off day, with five of the eight blocks having a tie for 4th place, in various configurations. The most exciting was the brown block, with a six way tie at the top of the group. This was resolved by everyone playing one game and the three winners qualifying, and then the three losers playing a knockout (with one bye to the 'final') for the remaining place. David Openshaw was the player who played all three games, losing his first but winning the next two to clinch the last place. This was particularly inconvenient for the WCF council, which had to have its meeting without David's presidential guiding hand.
In the evening there was a BBQ for the players and everyone else around, followed by the draw for the knockout, done on lawn 8 in front of the assembled crowd.
Today, Wednesday, we've had cloud cover, but it's still pleasantly warm with no sign of rain. One forecast was for record high temperatures on Friday with the weather breaking on Saturday, but that seems to have moderated now. If there's no rain all week and the lawns aren't watered at all then they will be very testing by Sunday. At present, lawns 9, 10 and 11 are still very easy, and the others are more testing.
As I write, at 5:40pm, David Openshaw is still on lawn 4 playing his match against Ian Dumergue, which started at 10am. Today the WCF management committee meeting is the one which is missing him!
The highlights of the day so far have been Ronan McInerneys win over Robin Brown +14otp, +17, in which I believe Robin made no errors and hit almost every shot, but still lost 2- 0. That was on lawn 10. In contrast, Reg Bamford has just beaten Ian Lines without attempting a single peel in either game! That is on lawn 1. For another indication of the contrast between the easy and difficult lawns, the third match of the day has just finished on lawn 9, and on lawns 4 and 7 the third game of the first match is still in progress.
Today the two Scottish players in the event, Aiton and Kirby put out the two remaining Americans, Mike Jenner and Jerry Stark. The only real upset of the day so far was Marcus Evans beating Trevor Bassett. [Ed: Ken Bald beat #2 seed Chris Clarke a couple of hours after J wrote this]