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Mar-a-Lago Singles Invitational Won by Bill Cooley

5-7 April 2009
Mar-a-Lago Club, Palm Beach, FL
by John Osborn, Director of Croquet

Celebrating over a decade of great croquet, The Mar-a-Lago Club’s Singles Invitational once again proved to be a complete success. While the three-day event began with windy and threatening weather, by the time the last ball had been struck the temperatures had reached the high eighties. Twenty players competed within two Flights and Block to Single-Elimination Ladder was the format. Matches were timed at one hour and fifteen minutes and double banking was utilized until the Finals.

In the Championship Flight, Bill Cooley (6) went undefeated throughout the event. Bill finished the Block portion of play with an exciting 12-10 victory over Stuart Baker (6) and, in a twist of fate, faced him again in the Semi-Finals. Bill’s 14-13 win was simultaneously mirrored by Jodie (6) Rugart’s 14-13 victory over Tina Theurkauf (8) in the other Semi-Final. The Championship match itself could have gone either way, but playing the last ball in the last rotation, Bill two-balled through wickets four and five to secure the title.

In the First Flight, Guy Brown (10) looked much the best, also going undefeated for the weekend. Guy defeated Robin (11) Sweet with an 21-16 score in one Semi while Gwynneth Selinger (9) fought off (14-12) a late game charge by Lauren Hammond (10) to gain the other birth in the Final. Guy, in control for virtually the entire match, then claimed the Title with an 18-14 score.

As is always the case, The Mar-a-Lago Club offered both two of the most beautiful lawns and one of the greatest settings seen for croquet anywhere. The Club looks forward to next year’s events and hopes that all of our esteemed quests will be able to visit once again. Until then, please find below the Final Order of Finish:

Final Order

  Championship Singles
1st Bill Cooley
2nd Jodie Rugart
3rd Stuart Baker
Tina Theurkauf
5th Lou Fusz
Margo Stinson
7th Reine Bitting
Joy Bradford
Joe Knoll
Bob Theurkauf

  First Flight Singles
1st Guy Brown
2nd Gwynneth Selinger
3rd Lauren Hammond
Robin Sweet
5th Millicent Eisenberg
Brenda Ham
C. A. Knoll
8th Helen Jones
Isabel Jordan
Warren Philips





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