There was certainly a bit of drama in the long wait for the US MacRobertson Shield roster line-up. I was sort of expecting a Livestream press conference with fireworks, cheerleaders and some AC/DC. Alas, the roster quietly appeared on the Americas forum on Croquet World Online. The report there names Jeff Soo, Ben Rothman, Danny Huneycutt, David Maloof, Matthew Essick and Stuart Lawrence as the starters with Rich Lamm and Steve Morgan as reserves. Paul Bennett is named first alternate and Sherif Abdelwahab as second alternate. This thread on Croquet Nation tracks all four of the Tier 1 rosters. More info also available on the Official 2017 MacRobertson Shield website.
HAKES WINS NZ OPEN: Aiken Hakes defeated Greg Bryant 16-26TP, 26TP-7, 13-26TPO, 24-22, 24-9 for a 3-2 win to claim the 2017 New Zealand Open. It was Hakes first NZ Open win, while Bryant was attempting to claim his fifth title for the event after wins in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2016. The event dates back to 1944.
2017 ANNAPOLIS CUP: The USCA Nine wicket site is reporting April 22, 2017 for the 35th anniversary of the St. Johns vs Navy Annapolis Cup nine-wicket croquet test. The piece also notes a crowd of 7,000 for the 2016 event and details the new plan for paid tickets.
FLORIDA REGIONAL GC: The USCA site has reported Cheryl Bromley over Richard Dell 7-4, 7-5 for the recent Florida Golf Croquet Regional Championship. Hal Denton was the First Flight winner with Gil Flowers taking second place. Bromley and Mike Sexton took the Championship Doubles title, while Flowers and Stephen Jackson claimed the First Flight Doubles prize. Full results are available on CroquetScores.com.
$50 SWING TRAINER: The USCA Nine-Wicket site has a new post that details quick instructions to build your own swing trainer ... for under $50.
2017 MALLET POLL NOTES: The 2017 Croquet Network Mallet Poll is well underway and as of Monday evening Brass Spot Mallets had jumped out to an early, commanding lead with nearly triple the votes of the challenger PFC Hoop Maker. Pidcock and Dave Trimmer are running three and four, which is notable because Trimmer owns both. The collective votes would be enough to move into second place.
From the other votes listing, a handful of voters are writing in Dave Spivey, who is listed as Palm Beach Mallet Works. Don't worry we'll add those into the final tally. The new find in the other votes would be Gary Dunkelberger mallets ... research to be done on that one.
MALLET POLL QUESTIONS: 1) Can you vote more than once? Yes, via multiple devices. Plus, you are allowed to vote for up to three manufacturers. 2) What is the sort order? It is random each time, so there is no alphabetical advantage. Admittedly, as the field grows each year that may become a challenge. 3) When does the poll close? January 31, 2017 to be followed by a full directory post later in February. So, for the players out there, please support the poll and help new players coming in find a good tournament mallet. And for the manufacturers, continue to mobilize your supporters ... the poll is located here.