The past weekend was a busy one for Golf Croquet, with both the North Island and South Island Golf Croquet Championships being held from Thursday 17th to Sunday 20th October.
This weekend saw some defending champions retain the titles they had won in 2018-19 while there were also some new champions crowned.
The North Island GC Championships were held by Croquet Waikato-King Country at Matamata Croquet Club. This year saw 24 players enter in the singles, up 50% from 2018-19, and 10 pairs in the doubles, up 150% from 2018-19.
In the doubles, a round robin was held to find the top four teams for the semi-finals. It was Tony Stephens & Sonya Sedgwick who qualified top after winning 8 of their 9 games. The defending champions, John Christie & Nelson Morrow, qualified second winning 7 of their 9 games. While Dallas Cooke & Phyllis Young and Allan Bruce & Rod Templeman were the other two pairs to qualify for the semi-finals.
In the first semi-final, Stephens & Sedgwick beat Bruce & Templeman 7-5, 7-4. Christie & Morrow joined them in the final after beating Cooke and Young by the same margin, 7-5, 7-4. Christie & Morrow then took two games to retain their title, winning 7-5, 7-5.
In the singles, play started in four blocks of 6 with the top two qualifying for the knock-out stage. It was Auckland’s Hamish McIntosh which claimed the 2019-20 North Island GC Singles title after going through the tournament without dropping a game. After qualifying top of block A winning 5 of 5, McIntosh met Helen Reeves in the quarter-finals winning 7-3, 7-3.
McIntosh was joined in the first semi-final by Morrow, after he beat doubles partner, Christie, 1-7, 7-4, 7-6, in the quarter-finals. The other semi-final was between Allister McGregor and Patricia Anderton.
McIntosh advanced to the final with a 7-0, 7-5 win over Morrow while McGregor joined him after beating Anderton 7-6, 7-5. In the final, McIntosh won in straight games, claiming the title with a 7-4, 7-6 victory.
The South Island GC Championships were held by Croquet Canterbury at United Croquet Club.
Starting with the doubles on Thursday and Friday. The 6 pairs competed in a double round robin before the top two teams played a best of 3 final. Looking to build towards the 2020 GC World Teams Championship, Duncan Dixon and Josh Freeth paired in the double and proved to be a strong combination, winning 9 of their 10 games on their way to the final. Joining them in the final was the young pairing from Cashmere High School, Josh Winter and Levi Franks, who won 7 of their 10 games.
Franks and Winter got off to a good start in the final winning the first game 7-6. However, Dixon and Freeth fought back and won the next two games 7-5, 7-5, to claim the 2019-20 South Island GC Doubles Championship.
Similar to the North Island Championships, the singles event started with block play before moving into knock-out matches.
With four players advancing from each of the two blocks, the quarter-finals saw Levi Franks beat Jonathon Hart 7-5, 7-2, Logan McCorkindale beat Jason Hodgett 7-2, 7-6, Duncan Dixon beat Josh Winter 7-4, 7-4 and Josh Freeth beat James Duggan 7-5, 7-3.
It was Freeth who got the better of his doubles partner, Dixon, in the semi-final winning 4-7, 7-3, 7-5. Defending champion, McCorkindale, advanced to the final to face Freeth after beating Franks 6-7, 7-4, 7-3, in his semi-final. It was the defending champion who was eventually victorious, with McCorkindale winning the final 7-5, 7-6 to retain his South Island GC Championship for 2019-20.