Monday, 06 April 2020

Handicaps are cut for Coates and Norris

SPANIARD Luis Álvarez-Sala Vázquez and Steve Thornton from Australia add an international flavour to Phyllis Court’s inaugural ‘Zero Plus’ Golf Croquet tournament, jointly hosted by High Wycombe CC, today (Friday) and tomorrow.

The second day of the tournament coincides with the official opening of the Phyllis Court Fitness Centre by Olympian Sharron Davies on Saturday and extra seating will be in place from Friday morning for the large spectator interest that is expected.

This tournament is the first of two collaborations between Phyllis Court and High Wycombe utilising two courts at each venue to accommodate the 16-player entry field in two ‘all play all’ groups of eight today.

The top four in each group will qualify for an eight-player ‘all play all’ Cup event at Phyllis Court on Saturday, with the remainder regrouping at High Wycombe for the Plate, with the arrangement that the senior event will alternate venues in future years.

Phyllis Court have five representatives in the field, headed by the vast tournament experience of Helena Fensome, backed up by husband Mike Fensome, Peter Haydon, Richard Peperell and Robin Coates who is making his debut at this tournament level.

Robin Coates continued the steady improvement that brought him the club’s intermediate 3+ singles title in 2018, with a good showing in Phyllis Court’s first internal tournament, the handicap singles, last week where he brought his handicap down to three for the first time.

Delia Norris turned the same trick, reducing her handicap from five to four in winning that tournament and in so doing, kept the White Ball Trophy in the Norris household, following husband Ian’s victory last year.

The top four finishers in the handicap singles, Delia Norris, Dianne Browne, Don Rutherford and David Young, all qualified for the area final south of the All England Handicap Competition to be held at Phyllis Court on August 21.

Last weekend saw a swift return to Surbiton CC for Phyllis Court’s Chris Roberts, but this time for a four-day Association Croquet tournament where he was joined for the initial two days handicap event by clubmates Frances Colman, Richard Peperell and Raghu Iyer.

The beauty of croquet’s handicap system is that it allows evenly matched games even when international players are in action, and all four of our local players scored good victories over high class opponents, topped by Peperell and Iyer accounting for England captain Samir Patel.

Roberts and Iyer’s four wins from six were Phyllis Court’s best and the latter’s performance was rewarded by an AC handicap reduction from 11 to 10 for the first time.

On Sunday and Monday Roberts had a torrid time as an outsider in the level play advanced event but recovered from four straight losses to save face with two late wins.

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