Golf Croquet B-Level Series at Hurlingham on August 27th & 28th 2017
This level play tournament was open to all GC players with handicaps between 3 and 8. There were 16 entrants from 10 clubs. This year's entrants included four from Leighton-Linslsde and the same number from Hurlingham, as well as Michael Bilton, the father of last year's winner Richard Bilton. Richard didn't qualify this year, as he had dropped to a minus 2 handicap in a year! The winner of this tournament enters the B level finals to be held later in the year.
On the first day there were two blocks of eight. The top two in each block, Andrea Huxley, Andrew Carpenter, Ross Bagni and Tony Elliott went through to the semi-finals and final which were best of three games. Ross and Tony met in the final and we saw an up and down struggle. Tony won the first game 7-2, to his surprise - according to his prediction before the match! Ross bounced back and won the next two game 7-3 and 7-2.
Andrew Carpenter won the consolation final. He also revealed that as a result of the tournament he had gone down to a handicap of 2 and so we will be sorry not to see him next year! Hurlingham and its lawns were at their best on a spectacularly beautiful weekend. Most entrants thought the lawns were very fast (and green), and were very complimentary about them.
The Grounds Manager at Hurlingham, Neil Harvey presented the prizes. Chris Stevens, the supervisor of croquet and bowls lawns was also present. Many chatted to them about lawn maintenance, and other croquet matters. We introduced some changes to the plate.
It was announced there would be (smallish!) prizes all the way down to 6th place. A time limit of 50 minutes was introduced and so the plate went with more of a swing this year. This all added to the feeling of the participants that it had been an enjoyable and successful tournament.
Summary of results:
1, Ross Bagni
2, Tony Elliott
3, Andrew Carpenter
4. Andrea Huxley