As 2016 winds down, it's always a great time to look at the most popular articles and pages on the Croquet Network site. The trends always present an interesting look back at the year in our wonderful sport and the popularity of specific pages or articles makes me appreciate the loyal audience that has been cultivated over a near-decade of work. The past year was particularly enjoyable because, we kicked off a small but targeted effort to invest in and produce more original content. It's nice to see some of those pieces in the top 10 for 2016.
Entries in British Opens (26)
Game Five of the 2016 British Opens Singles final between Samir Patel and Ben Rothman.
It’s Rothman! Ben Rothman is the 2016 British Open Singles Champion. In the final he beat Samir Patel (England) -26tp, +19, -20tp, +25tp, +26tp. Rothman (USA) is the first North American player to win a British Open championship title.
The singles semifinals were all-day affairs, averaging around two hours per game (including lunch and tea breaks). Between the two matches there were nine games played, each with a successful peeling turn (eight triples and one quad).
The main event of the day was the singles quarterfinals, played as best-of-fives. Paddy Chapman showed impressive focus and control and was nearly error-free in dispatching the ever-entertaining James Death 3-1. Samir Patel was nearly as impressive in a 3-1 win over top seed Reg Bamford.
In the much-anticipated Bamford vs. Essick match, Essick hit only one of five long shots, and Bamford won with two sextuple peels. All eight seeds advanced to the quarterfinals, some needing to play two matches to get there. While the conditions are fairly easy, it is nonetheless impressive that 28 of 34 games today included a successful peeling turn of three or more peels, including three sextuples and three quads.
Fifteen players qualified today for the main singles knockout, joining the seven who had qualified yesterday. Tomorrow’s knockout pairings have been posted on the CA Site. One of the more interesting match-ups is Reg Bamford (South Africa, resident in England) vs. Matthew Essick (USA).
The British Opens Singles qualifying is in the Burridge Swiss format; players need five wins out of ten games to reach the knockout. The first six rounds are pre-drawn to ensure a balanced draw. The final four rounds match players by record. Paddy Chapman (NZ, resident in England) and Ben Rothman (USA) lead the pack at 6/6.
On the Fourth of July, Ben Rothman (USA) donned the stars and stripes, and went four for four to start the singles qualifying round.
Doubles was again the main order of business for the day. In the one remaining match from the round of 16, Death and Patel (England) advanced over Essick and Hurst (USA), Patel tripling in game 1 and finishing off the contact after an Essick TPO in game 2.
Day One of the British Opens at the Cheltenham Croquet Club was a short day with a single round of the main doubles knockout. Most of the top-ranked teams had fairly easy matches, but a couple of matches were especially competitive. Jeff Dawson (England) and David Walters (Wales) bested Ben Rothman (USA) and Gavin Carter (Jersey) with two triples by Dawson.
LONDON, ENGLAND -- Robert Fulford claimed his record 11th Croquet Association Open Championship with a 26-6, 26-19 win over Paddy Chapman today at the Surbiton Croquet Club in London. It was his second straight Open title and he previously had a series of three straight wins from 2006-2008. John Solomon won six straight during 1963-1968.
The 2015 Open Championships being held at the Surbiton Croquet Club in London this week has successfully narrowed down to Paddy Chapman and Robert Fulford for the finals to be held on Sunday, July 15, 2015. Chapman made is way by going through Robert Wilkinson (2-1), Ben Rothman (2-1), David Maugham (2-0) and James Death (2-0). Death was on his own path prior to facing Chapman as he knocked off Luc Berthouse (2-0), Jose Riva (2-0) and Reg Bamford (2-1).
Fulford had a bye in the first round of the knockout then took out Robert Hurst (2-0), Stephen Mulliner (2-0) and Jamie Burch (2-1).
Americans Rothman and Hurst after making the final knockout had the unique distinction of being eliminated by the two finalists.
Here's a primer on the upcoming British Open. Draws are listed below (from Nott's List), but let's start with some info on the event: