Scottish Open 2003

19-20 July 2003, Meadows

With eight contestants in this year's Scottish Open, manager Chris Dent organised the main event as a knockout with best-of-three matches throughout.  He had been in some doubt as to the risk of running into time trouble, and considered playing single games in the first round, after seeing how fast the lawns were earlier in the week, but damp weather on Thursday and Friday made the conditions easier and the full best-of-three format was adopted - a decision vindicated by events.

In the first round, the one match that looked like going to three games was between John Surgenor and Rod Williams, but Rod unfortunately had to withdraw with an injury, giving John a walk-over.  Meanwhile Bob Burnett beat Charlotte Townsend, Dave Nick beat Tony Foster, and Chris Dent beat Bruce Rannie, all without dropping a game, and with no score closer than +20.  In the second round, Bob played John and Chris played Dave; these matches also were completed in straight games, though with some narrower margins, and by 4pm on Saturday the finalists were known to be Bob Burnett and Chris Dent.

Play began again at 9.30am on Sunday.  Chris and Bob played off for the Moffat Mallet, while in the consolation event a new trophy, the Edinburgh Plate, was contested by Dave, Bruce, Tony and Charlotte.  By the time the trophies arrived at about 12.30, the Plate winner was decided, and all would have been very nearly over if the main final hadn't gone to three games.  Even as it was, we were easily in time to have the presentations before lunch.  The raiders from the south were triumphant, Bob receiving the Moffat Mallet (to hold briefly, but not to keep, since this historic relic is not allowed out of Scotland) plus an engraved tumbler (to keep), while Dave took home the Edinburgh Plate.  Chris had donated a bottle of champagne for the runner-up in the knockout to open, which he accordingly did himself, and the others present helped him to drink it.

We hope that next year more visitors will cross the border to compete in this event.  With three good lawns and a proper pavilion in the centre of Edinburgh, Scotland is now better equipped to receive them than ever before.

A few pictures from the end of the championship (the photographer only arrived at the same time as the trophies) can be found below.  A fuller report may appear on this page, once someone who was there for more than the last half-hour of the match has written it.

Fergus McInnes



First round
Dave Nick beat Tony Foster +20 +26TP
Chris Dent beat Bruce Rannie +20 +26
Bob Burnett beat Charlotte Townsend +24TP +24
John Surgenor beat Rod Williams +8 w/o

Chris Dent beat Dave Nick +16TP +3
Bob Burnett beat John Surgenor +13TPO +3

Bob Burnett beat Chris Dent +24 −17 +26

Bruce Rannie beat Tony Foster +20
Tony Foster beat Charlotte Townsend +16
Dave Nick beat Charlotte Townsend +6TPO
Bruce Rannie beat Tony Foster +26
Tony Foster beat Charlotte Townsend +16
Dave Nick beat Bruce Rannie +2 (final)



One of the pictures below shows a deadly weapon being deployed at Scotland's National Croquet Centre, and the other shows the Scottish Open winner with his trophy.  But which is which?  The group portrait that follows should provide a clue.

Knockout finalists and Plate winner: Chris Dent, Bob Burnett and Dave Nick.