North American Open Won by Ben Rothman
Ben Rothman won the North American Open today in fine style beating Brian Cumming. He came back from a loss in game 1 to a sixth turn TP by Brian to take the second game +26TP (8th turn).
The third game saw all four balls gathered within four feet of each other on the east boundary at the start. Ben's first ball went to about 2yds N of H4. Brian shot and missed as did Ben on turn 3. Brian took the long shot down the boundary, but missed badly going off next to black. After contemplating trying to get a four ball cannon Ben took the easier route and played the rush on R with K to IV. First break to Ben, MSL.
Brian hit the lift shot with the H2 ball but broke down after 3. He was looking at the TPO but seemed to have given up on it and instead played B away then came back with a split putting B to 6 to use K just south of 3. He ended up N of 3 with a sliver of K to hit. He didn't.
Ben picked the break up with B and finished to take game 3 +23TP.
Ben Rothman beat Brian Cumming –26TP +26TP +23TP.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Larry Stettner is Ben Rothman's uncle, and his early croquet mentor.]
Honest, I don't make this stuff up! Ben went 3-0 today [Thurday], 12-3 overall good enough to nail down third place and a guaranteed $ 1,000 purse. He now plays the second place finisher, Leo Mcbride, 2 out of 3 tomorrow [Friday] with the winner to face the so-far undefeated Brian Cummings on Saturday during the Make-a-Wish Foundation million-dollar fund raiser luncheon. Leo has a badly infected hangnail and has lost two games, so the odds makers in Vegas are putting their money on the kid!
In his game against Doug Grimsley, Doug triple peeled Ben's red ball and staked it out — his other ball, yellow, was still for one (this is international rules, remember). So Doug has the two to one advantage and leaves one of his balls in the two corner and the other in the four corner, with Ben having a lift to contact (like a wire), but hey, Doug figures, what can Ben do, if he gets real lucky maybe maybe one hoop on a killer take off.
So what does Ben do?
Ben takes the lift on the blue ball in the four corner — does a monster full roll putting blue 20 feet in back of 1 between 1 and 2 and his ball 10 feet from 1 but straight on. Runs the hoop, but has a somewhat hampered backswing and so his rush on blue only gets it about 20 feet from 2. What to do? No problem, a pass roll split putting blue on the back side of 2 and getting his yellow ball to black in the corner. (Remember, in International Rules balls are 3 feet from the line, not 9 inches, and no penalty for roqueting anything out of bounds). Now he roquets black and then proceeds to send black to 3 while getting position at 2, again 10 feet but straight on; drills that, has blue there and has the perfect three-ball break set up and runs it to rover, and pegs out.
Ben 26, Doug 13, all 12 hoops and the peg-out on one turn that started with a ball in the four corner and another one in the two corner and the fourth ball already pegged out.
Honest, I don't make this stuff up. I was there. I watched it happen.
The results of the block are nearly decided. Positions 1-4 are final:
4th to 7th place in the block will play in a block of four to decide the rest of the placings.
The Sonoma-Cutrer Croquet Club in association with the Sonoma-Cutrer Winery and the Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation announce the 2008 North American Open. This international rules tourament will be played from Sunday, May 11 through Saturday May 17, 2008. The field is limited to sixteen players, and admission to the field is based on world ranking. Jonathan Kirby is the 2007 champion. The tournament is a purse tournament with a total purse of $6500, with a first prize of $3000.