Mark Avery Won the Surbiton Easter Open
Mark Avery again won this popular event, which was oversubscribed and
had a high-class field, with many internationals and an average handicap
Run as a flexible swiss, it is traditionally used as an early season
warm-up by good players seeking lots of games. This year, Alison Maugham
equalled the record of eleven games over the two days.
After the first round on the second day, the manager unusually found
himself with nobody left unbeaten. However, eight players had only one
loss: Mark Avery, Mark Ormerod, Robin Brown, Jane Morrison, Harry
Fisher, Jeff Dawson, Nigel Polhill and Samir Patel. The neat solution
was to hold and eight-player KO and they were paired off in this order.
This proved good entertainment for a small crowd of spectators and some
players who found 25C at Easter enough to drain their energy. At
tea-time the final began between Mark Avery and Samir Patel. Mark
quickly went to 4-back, Samir hit in and decided on a TPO, playing
carefully to negotiate the firm hoops set at 1/32nd and also popped
Mark's back-ball through hoop one. Mark took his contact and tried an
outrageous cross-court roll-up to hoop two, stopping about five yards
short and more or less straight. Barely pausing, he smashed it through
and began a tidy three-ball break to finish.
Over the two days the 94 games included 27 TPs, none better than Harry
Fisher's three-ball STP. But hats off to young Callum Johnson - handicap
2 and from York, who was accepted into the tournament courtesy of the
new Under-21 rule, won two games, gave Samir a fright in another and
collected his gold badge for a maiden TP against the venerable George.