In his first season back in New Zealand, Paddy Chapman (Waikato-King Country) has sent a strong signal as to why he is currently the top ranked New Zealand AC player (currently World #4) winning the NZ Open Singles and Doubles titles in convincing fashion.
Due to the postponement caused by Covid-19 restrictions, the NZ Open was held in South Taranaki from the 12th to 18th of February 2022.
The 2021-22 NZ Open Doubles was scheduled to be played on the first two days. However, due to the torrential rain much of New Zealand experienced on the 13th, the day was lost and the Doubles would be completed intermittently during the week.
Greg Bryant (Wellington) and Chapman reached the final winning the first three games of the Doubles knock-out comfortably. They were joined in the final by Nelson Morrow (Auckland) and John Christie (Thames Valley). Chapman and Bryant took an early advantage in the Bo3 match with a 26-3 victory in Game 1. After Chapman went round first in Game 2, Bryant came in to complete a triple peel finish to win Game 2 26tp-6 and secure the 2021-22 NZ Open Doubles title.
Chapman started the singles strongly winning all four games in Block A, completing triple peels in three of them. Christie finished second in Block A with three wins to also advance to the knock-out stage. 2020-21 champion, Felix Webby (Wellington) advanced as the winner of Block B after winning all for of his games. Block C was a close tussle and would see Morrow and Harps Tahurangi (Wellington) advance with 3 wins each. Bryant advanced second in Block D with Chris Shilling (Otago) winning the Block with 4 wins.
In the Knock-out stage, Chapman continued his dominance winning his quarter-final and semi-final in straight games to reach the final. He was joined in the final by Webby, who also won his quarter-final and semi-final in straight games and was looking to defend his title. However, Chapman capped off an incredible week of croquet winning the Bo5 final 26tp-2, 26tp-0, 26-14, to claim his second NZ Open Singles crown having previously won it in 2010. The straight games win in the final ensured Chapman didn’t drop a game all week (doubles and singles).
After the disappointment of not making the knock-out stage, Steve Clarke (Bay of Plenty) rallied to win the 2021-22 Heenan Plate. Defeating Bonnie Johnstone (South Taranaki) in the Plate final 26-10, 26-13.
Johnstone was awarded the Charles Jones Memorial Salver for the best performance of a scratch or higher player.
The full results can be found on Croquet Scores, here.