2019 Buffalo Croquet Club Invitational
August 8–11, Delaware Park, Buffalo, NY
Play started on Thursday night under the lights, outdoor BBQ and a great opportunity for many of us to catch up once again in Western New York...a few travel delays but honestly...this tournament is really starting to hit its stride. The weather was spectacular...except for myself and the Laging family who did the set up in basically a monsoon, the skies cleared up in perfect timing. Which turned out to be harbinger of more great weather to come. Court one, a victim of floods in previous years, was vastly improved and hosted the bulk of Championship play with no complaints from the players, other than the usual self-deprecation - yes, we're looking at you Rich Curtis.
Friday doubles produced one stand out...Kathleen Green, the highest handicap of the event, went undefeated and was the number one seed in second flight doubles. More handicap reductions are in your future.
Kathleen and Courtney weren't the only Green players to turn up on Saturday morning and results showed...some suffering more than others. NYCC's very own club champion Shane Hettler, was a very different type of "green", needing to take many non-play related time outs. Saturday evening The Terrace at Olmsted Park provided a beautiful setting for the tournament dinner with views over the lake, live jazz, great food, dedicated service and a chance to relive the highs and lows of the day.
Now down to business. Western New York had a solid showing. In second flight Buffalo Croquet Club's Bob Gannon was able to take first place defeating Ron Rapuano, while Peter Sherer of Rochester was able to capture third place. In first flight, it was Déjà Vu for the third time in as many Western New York events, Ryan Thompson faced off against Leo Leither. Well, as per usual, Ryan did it again. Ryan, your first flight days are numbered. Another member of the Buffalo Croquet Club, captured third place in what will officially be Paul Neubecker's last first flight appearance. Welcome to the big Leagues...speaking of which, on to Championship Flight...
On Sunday two undefeated Championship players were already locked for the playoffs with two others on the bubble. Then Jim "Wrecking Ball" Erwin upset the apple cart and Shane Hettler pulled a Lazarus, I am still baffled by the miracle that got him into the playoffs. After a couple of indifferent semi-finals in which the undefeated block winners did not live up to star billing, the final saw Shane take on defending champion Tim Rapuano. Errors on both sides went unpunished but Tim's break play held up best, as he successfully defended the stunning Bronze Buffalo trophy. Congratulations Tim!
Thanks for all that contributed to a wonderful event, the Buffalo Croquet Tournament is truly a special event.
~ Douglas Moore (with a little help from Chris Patmore)
First Flight Singles
First Flight Doubles
Second Flight Singles
Second Flight Doubles (Waterford)