The 2010 Austrian Open was held at CroquetClub RomerGolf near Salzburg from 27 to 29 August. Five locals (Klaus Gollhofer, Martin Guntner, Heinz Hackl, Leopold and Max Walderdorff) were joined by four visitors (defending champion Stephen Mulliner (Eng), twice past winner Tony Le Moignan (Jer), Don Gaunt (Eng) and Wolfgang Usbeck (Ger)). Paula Le Moignan (Jer) also took part in a "side event" for herself and Alfred Werner (Aut).
The weather forecast was very wet and, sadly, accurate. Friday morning was dry and featured the first ever triple peel by an Austrian when Klaus defeated Leopold +25tp. However, heavy rain arrived and waterlogged Lawn 2 (Heinz and Stephen attempted to complete a block game but concluded that submarine croquet is unlikely to catch on). The outlook for the event seemed even gloomier on Saturday when an early downpour made a lake of Lawn 2 and caused several large puddles on Lawn 1. However, an industrious morning using squeegees, a water vacuum cleaner and a small pump removed the surface water from both lawns and allowed the blocks and quarter-finals to be completed on Lawn 1. These produced the expected cast of Tony v Klaus and Stephen v Don for the semi-finals on Sunday morning.
Both semis were played on Lawn 1 and took almost 5 hours to complete with the soggy conditions making life difficult until the welcome arrival of sunshine in the early afternoon. Tony eventually triumphed over Klaus by +15, +18. Klaus had the first break in game 2 but came to grief at 3-back and Tony confirmed his place in the final with three careful breaks. The other semi produced an upset with Don defeating Stephen +2, +16. Stephen cross-pegged himself on a triple which allowed Don to reach peg and 4-back. The lift was missed but Don failed penult and Stephen took his rover to the peg, peeling Don's brown to rover and pegging out green. With Stephen on peg and rover, Don hit his lift and finished. Don reached 2-back in game 2 before Stephen took a ball to 4-back. Don missed but Stephen cross-wired himself at 2 so Don was able to take his hoop 1 ball to the peg. The lift was missed by the proverbial coat of paint and Don conducted a careful 3-ball break from 2-back to the peg for a very well-deserved victory in what he had announced to be his last championship standard event. The 3rd/4th place play-off was restricted to one game in which Klaus played a good break to 4-back but Stephen TPOd and then finished with a 3-ball break.
The final started after a brisk late lunch and Tony quickly went to 4-back but played a wrong ball after the lift was missed. Don showed that his form against Stephen was no fluke by taking game 1 +17 in three turns - although this time he did complete two peels of a triple before settling for a leave. Tony responded by taking game 2 +26tp in the 7th turn and, after Don had failed hoop 4 at the start of the decider, taking game 3 and the title by +23tp by 6.30 p.m.
Many thanks are due to our hosts, especially to Klaus and Leopold for their hospitality and organisation and to Max for his court setting. Next year's Austrian Open will be held at Wolkersdorf near Vienna and can be warmly recommended.
T. Le Moignan beat M. Walderdorff +26tp
M. Guntner beat D. Gaunt +5
T. Le Moignan beat M. Guntner +26tp
W. Usbeck beat M. Walderdorff +26
T. Le Moignan beat W. Usbeck +22
D. Gaunt beat M. Walderdorff +2(t)
D. Gaunt beat W. Usbeck +23
M. Guntner beat M. Walderdorff +10
W. Usbeck beat M. Guntner +6(t)
T. Le Moignan v D. Gaunt not played
L. Walderdorff beat H. Hackl +5(t)
S. Mulliner beat K. Gollhofer +17
S. Mulliner beat H. Hackl +17
K. Gollhofer beat L. Walderdorff +25tp
S. Mulliner beat L. Walderdorff +26
K. Gollhofer beat H. Hackl +24
S. Mulliner beat M. Guntner +15
D. Gaunt beat L. Walderdorff +9
T. Le Moignan beat H. Hackl +25tp
K. Gollhofer beat W. Usbeck +14
D. Gaunt beat S. Mulliner +2, +17
T. Le Moignan beat K. Gollhofer +15, +18
S. Mulliner beat K. Gollhofer +11tpo
T. Le Moignan beat D. Gaunt -17, +26tp, +23tp
W. Usbeck beat P. LeMoignan +23
P. LeMoignan beat A. Werner +8(t)
A. Werner beat P. LeMoignan +4(t)
P. LeMoignan beat A. Werner +3(t)
M. Walderdorff beat W. Usbeck +5(t)