New Zealand Open

From left to right: Charles Jones Memorial Salver; John Prince Trophy; J.W. Lill Esq. Singles Trophy; Heenan Plate; Canterbury Centennial Trophy.

The New Zealand Open is Croquet New Zealand’s Association Croquet National Tournament featuring both Singles and Doubles championship events.

First contested in 1913, some of the top players in New Zealand’s history have competed and won this event as well as attracting some of the top players from around the world. Although the New Zealand Championship today has two events (open singles and open doubles) played over 1 week, it used to consist of 5 events (open singles, men’s singles, women’s singles, open doubles and handicap singles) played over 2 weeks. In the history of this tournament, three players were successful in winning all four titles they were eligible for in the same season. They are, Clem Watkins (1954), Ashley Heenan (1959) and Tony Stephens (1960).

The Open Singles event has been held 106 times since 1913 over a 112 year period (including 6 years where it was not held due to the World Wars) up to and including the 2024 NZ Open. During this span, there have been 46 different winners. Bob Jackson currently holds the record for the most successful player in the history of the NZ Open Singles event having won 14 titles as well as being the runner-up on 10 other occasions. Jackson’s incredible record in making the final spans over four decades. After winning his first final in 1975 (the first time he reached the final), Jackson completed two separate 3-peats. The first from 1982 to 1984 and the second from 1997 to 1999. Jackson’s last final’s appearance came in 2001 when he lost to Toby Garrison. Four other players have won this event 5 times or more; Arthur Ross (11), John Prince (8), Ashley Heenan (5) and Greg Bryant (5). Rene Watkins is the most successful women’s player in the history of the NZ Open Singles with 4 titles.
The Open Singles title has regularly attracted some of the best players in the world and has been won by a non-New Zealander 13 times.

The Open Doubles has always been played in conjunction with the Open Singles. The Open Doubles has seen plenty of different doubles pairings with 93 individuals having won the NZ Open Doubles Title. This includes several players that have won a number of NZ Open Doubles titles and one dominant pairing.
Over the 109 year history of the Doubles, 4 players have won the event 10 times; Mrs Rene Watkins, John Prince, Joe Hogan and Bob Jackson. The latter two combining on 9 occasions to win the event including winning 4 in a row from 1979 to 1982 and again in 1985 to 1988.
Watkins’ titles even include winning three in a row with her husband, Clem Watkins, from 1953 to 1955.
In addition to the four players listed above, another 3 players have won the event 7 times; Chris Clarke, Mrs B.A. Jarden and Arthur Ross.

The winner receives the cup presented by J.W. Lill, and the New Zealand Gold Medal presented by A.G.F. Ross for competition during the 1930 New Zealand Test Selection and won outright by Mrs C. Watkins. The runner-up to receive the John Prince Trophy presented in 1987 by A.D.J. Heenan, OBE. Also included is the Heenan Plate for the winner of the Plate section and the Charles Jones Memorial Salver for the best performing individual in a specific handicap range as outlined by the manager.

Below is a history of all of the Open Singles, Open Doubles and Heenan Plate winners (number of titles in brackets):

YearWinnerRunner-upDoubles WinnersHeenan Plate
2024L. McCorkindale (2)P. ChapmanT. Garrison (4)J. CouttsS. Horrer
2023L. McCorkindaleP. ChapmanG. Bryant (6) P. Chapman (2)J. Christie (3)
2022P. Chapman (2)F. WebbyG. Bryant (5) P. ChapmanS. Clarke
2021F. WebbyL. McCorkindaleA. Westerby (3) L. McCorkindaleL. Franks
2020A. Hakes (2)E. FordyceG. Bryant (4)E. Fordyce (2)A. Posimani
2019G. Bryant (5)J. FreethC. Clarke (7)J. Clarke (4)J. Christie (2)
2018E. Wilson – AUSS. Mulliner – ENGC. ShillingS. Murray – SCOJ. Christie
2017A. HakesG. BryantA. Hakes E. FordyceG. Fisher
2016G. Bryant (4)P. SkinleyG. Bryant (3) F. WebbyH. Tahurangi (3)
2015I. Dumergue – AUSG. BryantC. Clarke (6)J. Clarke (3)H. Tahurangi (2)
2014G. Bryant (3)Mrs J. ClarkeC. Clarke (5) J. Clarke (2) nee WilliamsC. Shilling (3)
2013T. Garrison (2)A. WesterbyM. Avery M. Wright (2)J. Hogan
2012G. Bryant (2)T. GarrisonC. Clarke (4)H. McIntosh (2)D. Bulloch (6)
2011G. BryantR. Fletcher – AUSC. Clarke (3)H. McIntoshK. Beard – AUS
2010P. ChapmanS. Mulliner – GBA. Westerby (2) T. Garrison (3)R. Jackson
2009S. Mulliner – GBK. Aiton – GBI. Lines – GBM. WrightM. Fletcher – AUS
2008R. Beijderwellen – NEDR. Fulford – GBR. Beijderwellen – NED R. Fulford – GB (2)G. Roberts (3)
2007C. Clarke – GBA. HakesC. Clarke – GB (2) J. WilliamsG. Smith
2006R. Fulford – GB (4)P. SkinleyC. Clarke – GBR. Fulford – GBD. Bulloch (5)
2005R. Fulford – GB (3)R. McInerney – IREB. Fleming – AUS Mrs L. Fleming – AUSJ. Versey (2)
2004D. BullochA. StephensP. Batchelor R. LoweP. Skinley (3)
2003R. Jackson (14)D. Goacher – GBG. Beale (4) D. WickhamJ. Versey
2002J. Prince (8)B. WislangJ. Prince (11) T. WalkerH. Tahurangi
2001T. GarrisonR. JacksonT. Garrison (2) D. Bulloch (2)B. Baker
2000R. Fulford – GB (2)C. Clarke – GBS. Mulliner – GBD. Openshaw – GBJ. Riches – AUS
1999R. Jackson (13)S. DavisG. Beale (3) J. Prince (10)P. Landrebe
1998R. Jackson (12)A. WesterbyS. Jones (4)T. GarrisonR. Lowe
1997R. Jackson (11)P. SkinleyP. Skinley (2) S. Jones (3)J. Guest – GB
1996S. JonesB. WislangR. Baker (2) G. Beale (2)D. Bulloch (4)
1995R. Jackson (10)R. Fulford – GBP. SkinleyS. Jones (2)J. Prince (2)
1994A. WesterbyR. JacksonR. BakerG. BealeA. Stephens
1993R. Fulford – GBR. JacksonG. Bryant (2)J. Prince (9)G. Roberts (2)
1992R. Jackson (9)S. JonesG. BryantJ. Prince (8)D. Bulloch (3)
1991R. Jackson (8)J. HoganJ. Hogan (10)A. WesterbyC. Shilling (2)
1990J. Hogan (3)R. FulfordR. Jackson (10)J. Hogan (9)P. Skinley (2)
1989R. Jackson (7)J. PrinceS. Jones A. Stephens (3)S. Fellows
1988J. Hogan (2)R. JacksonR. Jackson (9)J. Hogan (8)C. Shilling
1987J. Prince (7)R. JacksonR. Jackson (8)J. Hogan (7)G. Roberts
1986J. HoganR. JacksonR. Jackson (7)J. Hogan (6)R. Murfitt (2)
1985P. Skinley (3)J. HoganR. Jackson (6)J. Hogan (5)B. Wardle
1984R. Jackson (6)G. BealeR. Clarke (4) G. RobertsMrs M. Hadwin
1983R. Jackson (5)Mrs W. WigginsR. Murfitt (2)B. WislangC. Johnston
1982R. Jackson (4)J. PrinceR. Jackson (5)J. Hogan (4)D. Curtis
1981P. Skinley (2)R. JacksonR. Jackson (4)J. Hogan (3)D. Bulloch (2)
1980P. SkinleyR. JacksonR. Jackson (3)J. Hogan (2)K. Woolett
1979R. Jackson (3)J. HoganR. Jackson (2)J. HoganD. Bulloch
1978R. Jackson (2)J. HoganJ. Prince (7)A. Anderson (3)Miss S. Grigg
1977J. Prince (6)R. JacksonJ. Prince (6)A. Anderson (2)Miss J. Clarke
1976J. Prince (5)R. JacksonR. Murfitt D. BullochR. Clarke
1975R. JacksonJ. HoganJ. Prince (5) R. Clarke (3)R. Murfitt
1974R. MurfittG. RowlingC. AndersonA. AndersonP. Skinley
1973C. AndersonG. RowlingR. Clarke (2) R. JacksonMrs J. Jarden (3)
1972R. ClarkeG. RowlingA. Stephens (2) R. ClarkeJ. Prince
1971J. Prince (4)A. StephensMrs J. Jarden (7) G. Rowling (4)Mrs C. Middlemiss
1970K. WoollettC. WadsworthJ. Prince (4)K. WoollettMrs J. Jarden (2)
1969J. Prince (3)C. WadsworthMrs J. Jarden (6) G. Rowling (3)Mrs J. Jarden
1968J. Prince (2)D. CurtisMrs J. Jarden (5) G. Rowling (2)J. McNab
1967J. PrinceMrs J. JardenMrs J. Jarden (4) G. RowlingG. Rowling
1966Mrs J. JardenG. RowlingMrs J. Jarden (3)J. Prince (3)Mrs E. Hight
1965G. Rowling (2)Mrs J. JardenMrs J. Jarden (2)J. Prince (2)Mrs E. Todd
1964A. Heenan (5)Mrs C. WadsworthA. Heenan (3)J. PrinceMrs R. Budgen
1963J. Solomon – GB (2)W. Ormerod – GBE. Cotter J. Solomon – GB (2)Mrs A. Griffith
1962H. FordMrs J. JardenMrs W. Martin (2) T. ReganE. Trainor
1961Mrs H. PurdyMrs J. JardenMrs R. Watkins (10) J. TuckerMrs A. Stephens
1960A. StephensJ. TuckerA. Heenan (2) A. StephensMrs J. Nicholl
1959A. Heenan (4)C. WadsworthF. Gurnsey Mrs W. Martin L. Mitchell
1958A. Heenan (3)A. RossM. Reckett – GBA. HeenanC. Wadsworth (2)
1957C. BryanW. PaynterMrs N. Mitchell Miss I. WainwrightMrs A. Kirk (2)
1956G. RowlingMrs C. WadsworthMrs J. Jarden Miss M. Claughton (3)Mrs A Kirk
1955Mrs H. O’ConnellMrs H. FenwickC. Watkins (3)Mrs R. Watkins (9)Mrs G. Metcalfe
1954C. WatkinsMrs. R. WatkinsC. Watkins (2)Mrs R. Watkins (8)C. Wadsworth
1953A. Ross (11)C. WatkinsC. Watkins Mrs R. Watkins (7)Mrs R. Hogan
1952Mrs R. Watkins (4)Miss I. WainwrightA. Ross (7) Mrs L. BoyesMrs G. McLeod
1951J. Solomon – GBA. RossH. HicksJ. Solomon – GBW. Kirk
1950A. Ross (10)W. KirkC. Bryan (2) Mrs L. Wood (3)C. Watkins
1949A. Ross (9)Mrs R. WatkinsH. Ford (2) Miss M. Claughton (2)Mrs J. Lockett
1948A. Heenan (2)Miss M. ClaughtonH. FordMiss M. Claughton
1947C. La Roche (2)Miss M. ClaughtonC. La Roche (3) Mrs L. Wood (2)
1946A. HeenanLt-Col W. BeamishC. Bryan Mrs R. Watkins (6)
1945C. La RocheMrs R. WatkinsC. La Roche (2)Mrs L. Wood
1944Lt-Col W. BeamishC. La RocheC. La Roche Mrs J. Brass
1943Not Held
1942Not Held
1941Mrs R. Watkins (3)Mrs G. McLeodA. Gibbs (2)Mrs A. Clark (3)
1940Mrs R. Watkins (2)A. OgierJ. TannockMrs R. Watkins (5)
1939A. Ross (8)J. TannockA. Gibbs Mrs A. Clark (2)
1938Mrs R. WatkinsMrs R. GambrillF. Hartnell (2) Mrs A. Morgan
1937A. Gibbs (2)C. BryanR. McCreathMrs W.N. Corbert
1936A. GibbsMrs W. ThompsonA. Ross (6)Mrs R. Watkins (4)
1935Col. Du Pre – GB (2)A. RossMrs A. Clark Mrs E. Tingey
1934Capt. F HartnellA. RossF. Hartnell Mrs W. Caldow
1933H. Stratton (2)Mrs R. WatkinsH. Stratton (2)Mrs F. Palmer
1932A. Ross (7)Mrs F. TiffenA. Ross (5)Mrs A. Hadfield
1931H. WilliamsSir Francis WemyssMrs R. Watkins (3)Mrs F. Tiffen
1930Mrs A. JarvieMrs F. TiffenMrs R. Gambill (2) Mrs M. Pitcaithley (3)
1929A. Ross (6)Mrs A. JarvieMrs R. Gambill Mrs M. Pitcaithley (2)
1928Col. Du Pre – GBA. RossW. Du Pre – GBMiss D. Steele – GB
1927A. Ross (5)Rev. C Creed MeredithA. Ross (4)Mrs E. Johnson (2)
1926A. Ross (4)Miss M. HeskethMrs R. Watkins (2)Mrs F. Pitcaithley
1925A. Ross (3)Miss M. HeskethH. Williams Mrs E. Johnson
1924A. Ross (2)Mrs F. TiffenH. Stratton Mrs R. Watkins
1923H. StrattonA. RossJ. MurrayMiss M. Hesketh
1922A. RossS. McColloughA. Ross (3)Mrs G. Murray Aynsley
1921R. CaughleyP. LaurieR. Caughley Mrs G. Richardson
1920Dr E. WhitakerA. RossH. Penn (2) A. Ross (2)
1919Not Held
1918Not Held
1917Not Held
1916Not Held
1915K. Izard (3)A. RossH. PennA. Ross
1914K. Izard (2)P. LaurieK. Izard (2)Miss L. Rutherford (2)
1913K. IzardT. ChambersK. IzardMiss L. Rutherford