THE USUAL SUSPECTS PLUS AN AMERICAN
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA -- The 2016 WCF World Croquet Championship has now narrowed down from 80 players to the four best. Along the way, the event had some predictability as well as some new wrinkles. Primarily, David Maloof became just the fourth American to make the final four as was able to take down the 2013 AC World Runner-up Paddy Chapman 26-9, 7-26tp, 26-0, 26otp-12. Maloof joins Jerry Stark (1990), Jaques Fournier (2001) and Ben Rothman (2009) as the only Americans to make the final four in the 15 editions of the WCF World Championship.
In other action, American Danny Huneycutt did all he could to to make the grade as well as he pushed pushed Stephen Mulliner (ENG) to five games and even took a 2-1 lead in the best of five. Mulliner survived to advance with a 0-26tp, 26-16, 0-26tp, 26tp-0, 26tpo-15 scoreline. This will be Mulliner's fifth trip to the AC Final Four after making the semifinals in 1990 and 1995 and the final 1997 and 2008.
David Maugham (ENG) pulled off an even bigger trick as he came back from a 2-0 deficit to Samir Patel to advance with a 3-2 win (9-26tp, 2-26, 26-9, 26-9, 26otp-12). Maugham made his only other visit to the AC Worlds final four in 1997.
Reg Bamford sailed through again with a 3-0 win over Jenny Clarke (NZ). He had sextuples in games two and three (26qp-0, 26sxp-22, 26sxp-0). It looks like Mulliner will have a challenging task today. Bamford is making his sixth appearance in the AC Final Four and won the event in 2001, 2005, 2009 and 2012. He also made the semifinals in 2013.
Another nice surprise for the event was the LiveStream video made available to internet viewers of the Maloof vs Chapman match. At one point, 60 viewers were logged into the broadcast. Small numbers, but not bad for an impromptu moment. The credit goes to Sherif Abdelwahab for providing the feed though his iPhone. It is thought to be the first live broadcast of AC World Knockout play.
Today's matches line up like this (Updated Rankings):
Official Bracket: croquetscores.com/2016/ac/wcf-world-championship/main-ko