This year's U. S. Open enjoyed the best weather in it's history as well as the largest field. Players from Canada, England, Australia and Mexico showed up along with Americans from 11 states for a field totaling 41. One half were in the B flight - which may make this the largest Association rules B tournament in the country. There was a waiting list for two weeks but eventually they all got in to replace drop-outs.
The 7 courts used were at Mission Hills C.C., Indian Ridge Croquet Club and Merv Griffins Resort Hotel, all in the greater Palm Springs area of California. There are at least another 3 courts in the area so if the field continues to grow we may be able to enlarge the tournament.
There was a plate event for the "Open Flight" which was won by Roy Gee from Georgia by defeating Ren Kraft 12/11 who earlier edged out Tony Hall in a serious come- from-behind win. The block winners played a best of 3 event to determine which one advanced into the championship game, and who returned to the playoff (repassage). That was played by Jerry Stark and David Maugham, with Jerry winning 26tp-22 / 16-26tp / 26tp- 10.
The third game appeared to be lost by Jerry when he rose up from the dead and played the finest game he's been seen to play for many a year. From there David Maugham defeated Erv Peterson 26tp-0 to advance to the championship game against Jerry.
In the preprandial finals David won 26tp-0 / 26tp-0.
The 1st flight finals was a game pitting locals Jim Bonacci against Richard Tucker with Bonacci getting the last point in to win by 10/9. The third flight was won by Len Lyon from the local Indian Ridge C.C. over Bob Riddell from Mirv Griffin's 7/3. Earlier Russell Uhler went undefeated in that flight but because of travel constraints on Sunday he chose to forfeit his simi- final game rather than forfeiting in the championship game. He had looked very good to win it all, but his was a good call.
The courts were each different and all in very good shape which allow some very accurate play with triple peels by several of the "Open Flight" players.
1. David Maugham
2. Jerry Stark
3. Erv Peterson
1. Jim Bonacci
2. Richard Tucker
3. Gordon Milse & Xandra Kayden
1. Len Lyon
2. Bob Riddell
3. Cindy Bagby
|Player (Rank)||First Round||Quarter Final||Semi Final||Final||Champion|
|Jerry Stark (none)||Maugham
|Richard Powell (#320)||Powell
|Don Fournier (#205)|
|Rory Kelley (#211)||Peterson
|Erv Peterson (#257)|
|Bob Cherry (#104)||Cherry
|Louis Nel (#232)|
|Carl Uhlman (#299)||Bennett
|Paul Bennett (#178)|
|David Maugham (#3)|
Plate winner was Roy Gee +6 v Ren Kraft
High B Block
Russel Uhler ( with drew to catch a plane )
Low B Block