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Carter Cup Won by United States of America

3-6 May 2009 National Croquet Center, West Palm Beach, FL
by Leo Nikora

The United States of America beat Ireland 18-3 to take the Carter Cup.

Teams

United States of America Ireland
Ben Rothman [2384] Andrew Johnston [2340]
Rich Lamm [2375] Ed Cunningham [2161]
Doug Grimsley [2358] Gerard Healy [2090]
Danny Huneycutt [2319] Evan Newell [2052]
David Bent [2318] Nathanial Healy [1966]
Ricky Wilhoite [2099] Conor Broderick [1752]

Past Results

  Venue Winner Score
2009 West Palm Beach, FL, USA USA 18-3
2006 Carrickmines, Dublin, IR Ireland 13-8
2001 West Palm Beach, FL, USA Ireland 11-10
1999 Carrickmines, Dublin, IR Ireland 21-6
1997 West Palm Beach, FL, USA Ireland 15-12
1995   USA 10-8

Day Three by Bob Alman

The US nailed down its Carter Challenge victory for the second time in the series, with the score 14 to 1 in favor of the US when I left the courts on Tuesday afternoon.

Day Two by Ben Rothman

The US shocked the Irish team yesterday with their commanding performance, "We decided to play respectable croquet from now on." Three of the unfinished matches from day one were completed 2-0 in the Americans' favor. Ben Rothman kept the pattern going with a 2-0 victory over Evan Newell.

The best hope for the Irish is currently Connor Broderick, who has the lone victory in game two against David Bent. As I type, Connor is on his second break scoring hoop 1-back while not attempting the triple peel. David has one ball on 4-back and his back ball is still for hoop 1.

Rich Lamm is up one game on Andy Johnston, who is up a break in game two. And Danny Huneycutt is ahead one game and one break against Ed Cunningham.

With a little luck, the United states COULD seal the victory today in an 11-0 routing. Keep your fingers crossed!

Preview and Player Roster by Bob Alman

The sixth Carter Challenge is being contested May 3-6, 2009 at the National Croquet Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. It has been held every two or three years since its inauguration in 1995. In the intial years, there was a single day of American rules doubles at the end. Now,all the games are played by International (Association) laws.

USCA hopes are high for a USCA win this year, based on the relative grades of the teams, shown below. But history has shown that anything can happen in these events, which are entertaining and exciting partly because they are so often unpredictable.

The Irish/USA event is conducted in the traditional 21-match "international test match" format, which consists of both doubles and singles games, totalling 21 best-of-three matches.

Danny Hunnicutt is the event manager of record for a event that requires very little tending, because of the depth of experience of these veteran players and the tradition of gentlemanly behavior expected to prevail.

Here's some background provided by Rich Lamm, chairman of the USCA Selection Committee:

"The inaugural event was won by the USA 10-8. Ireland have been victorious in each of the four following tests.

"In 1997, Ireland won 13 of 18 singles and 2 of 7 doubles matches. This would be the first of many Carter Challenges marked by Irish dominance in singles with a US edge in doubles.

"In 1999, Ireland won 17 of 18 singles matches, coasting to a 21-6 victory at Carrickmines. The US won 5 of 9 doubles matches that year.

"The 2001 test in West Palm Beach brought the US closer to victory than anytime other than the inaugural 1995 competition. Going into the final day of play, the US needed to win 5 of 6 singles matches to win the series. Ronan McInerney and Simon Williams saved the day for Ireland with two wins to finish off the Americans. Ironically, the US lost the doubles 5-4 that year.

"The US regained its doubles edge in 2006, winning 5 of 9 matches, but faltered in singles, losing 9 of 12 for a 13-8 victory.

"Andrew Johnston and Doug Grimsley are the only two players returning from the 2006 squads. Danny Huneycutt, with three sextuples in the past two months, hopes to lead the American team to victory on the green while Doug Grimsley, America’s beloved tuna boat captain, hopes to match the Irish at the pub."

Full Results

Singles

David Bent beat Nathanial Healy +18, +3
Danny Huneycutt beat Evan Newell +26tp, +23
Rich Lamm beat Ed Cunningham +23, +13
Ricky Wilhoite beat Nathanial Healy +24tp, +21
Doug Grimsley beat Andrew Johnson +5, +16
David Bent lost to Conor Broderick +15, -13, -4
Ben Rothman beat Evan Newell +26, +21
Danny Huneycutt beat Ed Cunningham +23, +16
Rich Lamm beat Andrew Johnson +13, +7
Ben Rothman beat Andrew Johnson -10, +4 +15
Rich Lamm beat Conor Broderick +26tp, +5
Doug Grimsley beat Nathanial Healy +4, +22
David Bent beat Ed Cunningham +17, +24
Ricky Wilhoite beat Evan Newell +16, +15tp
Ben Rothman beat Ed Cunningham +25, +12
Danny Huneycutt lost to Andrew Johnson -8tp, -16
Doug Grimsley beat Evan Newell 13, +16
Ricky Wilhoite beat Conor Broderick +3, +20tp

Doubles

Rothman/Grimsley beat Johnson/Broderick -14, +25, +16
Huneycutt/Wilhoite beat Cunningham/Newell +15, +23tp(RW)
Lamm/Bent beat Broderick/Healy +3, -5, +?

TOURNAMENT RESULTS


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