Scottish Open 2015

18-19 July 2015, Meadows

If winning the other Open in balmy Scotland in July is the dream of golfers, then participating with the hope of winning at the Meadows is the dream of most Australian croquet players.  To say croquet players in general have a better chance of success in our events than your average golfing hack in theirs only serves to demonstrate the amazing accessibility and true equality of our sport.

While a number of the Aussie contingent arrived with the prerequisite HABs most of us were solo and in fighting form with a whiff of fresh blood wafting up from Nottingham way.  Alison Sharpe and I were lucky enough to have a bed at the lovely Murrayfield Drive.   Sharpy brought her latest, and must be best, tale of her trip from London on the train, where she rescued a poor fellow covered in vomit on his way to an interview.   Apparently she missed a few stray carrots behind his ear but sent him on his aromatic way suitably tissued off to the best of her ability. The story is always in the telling and needless to say we wept…

Alison went on to make one of the strongest showings in the event with her calm, accurate style and devastating single ball shots impressing everyone and only being knocked out in the semi final.

The lush conditions, though not wholly unexpected, did make the play a bit challenging; a couple of millimetres lower would have made the beautiful lawns spectacular.

This event is unique, particularly in the fluid innovation that is the tournament format.  This year there seemed to be a record-breaking attempt to ensure the tournament format that actually happened was as far from, not only the previous years' formats, but also the format explained before play commenced on the first day.  Don’t get me wrong:  this is not a negative, it adds to the wonder, joy and challenge, if not anxiety levels, of the event. (Hope you made the plane in time James!)

James was a well-deserved winner and commiserations to Ian Lines as runner up.

The Aussies had a wonderful tournament, and a strong preparation for the Worlds.

Some highlights:

  • Bob Beattie knocking Ian Burridge out in the first round. Go the Tassies!
  • The success of golf croquet style hooping because of the “kindness” of the conditions.
  • Great meal at the Omar Khayyam with the whole group
  • Alison stealing one from James, and me stealing one from Ian Lines.
  • The fabulous members and friends at the Meadows
  • Discovering that “The Bothy” [at the end of Murrayfield Rd] is rated among the best pubs for meals in Edinburgh; who would have guessed?
  • Debbie nipping off a few TPs after a break away from the game (great to meet Debbie after reading about all her amazing play over the years!)
  • Found some terrific coffee in Edinburgh at Brew Lab
  • Cloisters, Bennets and the beautiful Café Royal.

Rosemary Landrebe


Postscript

A few weeks later a three page interview with Tom Courtenay appeared in the Financial Times Weekend magazine, opening with the following paragraph:

Tom Courtenay walks into the central London hotel lobby that is our rendezvous looking sprightly but also a little bit discomfited. He is carrying a plastic bag under his arm. We shake hands, and he tells me that he has a good beginning for my story. “I came here on the train,” he says undramatically. “But then someone was sick over me.” I express my sympathies. “It’s all right, a woman was very kind and helped me out. She was on her way to the world croquet championship.” The northern vowels, deadpan delivery and slight surrealism are pure Alan Bennett. Of course she was, I reply.

A couple of weeks after that the following letter was published in the FT Weekend:

Startled — then I realised that I was the woman who cleaned up Sir Tom

Sir, I was startled when I read the first few lines of Peter Aspden’s interview with Tom Courtenay in the FT Magazine (August 15). I suddenly saw the photo of the familiar face and realised that it was me who had helped clean up “Sir Tom Courtenay” on the train that Friday morning, but at the time I had no idea it was him.

While I was cleaning him up he talked about going for an interview, which I wrongly interpreted as a “job interview”, so I told him that I would make him “look as decent as possible”. After much wiping down of his clothing with my plethora of tissues I then felt happy enough to release him from the train at Waterloo. He thanked me profusely for helping him feel semi-normal again and I felt chuffed that I could help this lovely gentleman when no one else in the carriage was prepared to take charge.

Since that day I had been wondering whether he ever got the job he was going for, and I also wanted to let him know how I did in the Women’s World Croquet Championships in Nottingham. I did in fact come home with a bronze medal.

Alison Sharpe
Sydney, NSW, Australia

The unfortunate passenger suffering from a bout of projectile vomiting has yet to come forward.

 

Results

Winner:  James Hopgood
Runner-up:  Ian Lines
Plate winner:  Rosemary Landrebe
Peeling prize:  Ian Lines


Scottish Open (Moffat Mallet)

  James Hopgood (1) +4, +16tp
James Hopgood
-26, +4tp, +12tpo
James Hopgood
James Hopgood
+18tp
 
  Campbell Morrison (8)
 
Debbie Lines (5) +17
Debbie Lines
Alison Sharpe
+26, +26
   
Alan Wilson
Kathleen Colclough Alison Sharpe
+17
Alison Sharpe (4)
Ian Lines (3) +13tp
Ian Lines
-17, +10tpo, +17tp
Ian Lines
Ian Lines
+26tp, +7tpo
       
Sue Beattie
Jane Morrison Rosemary Landrebe
+26
Rosemary Landrebe (6)
Jannine Hawker (7) +14
Jannine Hawker
Jannine Hawker
+7, +17
   
John Surgenor
Bob Beattie Bob Beattie
+22
Ian Burridge (2)

3rd/4th place play-off:  Alison Sharpe beat Jannine Hawker +14

 

Plate

Ian Burridge beat Jane Morrison +4tpo
Kathleen Colclough beat Sue Beattie +9T (20-11)
Alan Wilson beat John Surgenor +8

Ian Burridge
beat Sue Beattie +25stp
Ian Burridge beat Alan Wilson +24tp
John Surgenor beat Debbie Lines +16
Kathleen Colclough beat Jane Morrison +12T (23-11)
Campbell Morrison beat Ian Burridge +26tp
Alan Wilson beat Sue Beattie +16tp
Debbie Lines beat Bob Beattie +17tp
John Surgenor beat Campbell Morrison +26
Debbie Lines beat Kathleen Colclough +26
Rosemary Landrebe beat Bob Beattie +14
Jane Morrison beat Sue Beattie +9T (23-14)
Campbell Morrison beat Alan Wilson +25
John Surgenor beat Kathleen Colclough +6
Campbell Morrison beat Debbie Lines +13tp
Jane Morrison beat Bob Beattie +7T (22-15)
Rosemary Landrebe beat Alan Wilson +9

Summary (knock-out results count for the plate)

  Wins Games Win %
Rosemary Landrebe 4 6 67%
Ian Burridge 3 5 60%
John Surgenor 3 5 60%
Campbell Morrison 3 6 50%
Debbie Lines 3 7 43%
Kathleen Colclough 2 5 40%
Jane Morrison 2 5 40%
Alan Wilson 2 6 33%
Bob Beattie 1 6 17%
Sue Beattie 0 5 0%