The Walker Cup 2010

31 July 2010, Meadows

The Walker Cup is restricted to handicaps of 10 and over, so the six competitors for the 2010 Walker Cup, on the 31st of July, spanned the possible range.

Matches were 18-point games, with all clips starting on hoop 5, and were played with full bisques to a base of 10.  In line with the sentiments expressed at the previous year's event, the manager, Robert Inder, had decided to once again avoid the "sudden death" of a knockout.  Having only six entrants opened up the possibility of having everyone play everyone.  But this would have required 90 minute time limits, which he (and others) felt was not long enough.  He therefore decided to play a Swiss format tournament, with two hour time limits.   The club's pack of cards having produced the initial draw, the players took the lawn at 9:45, and play was under way by 9:50.

Many of the games were very tight, and Robert won his game against David Houston by running the deciding hoop after the normal game ended in a tie.   At the end of the third round, at just after 5 PM, Robert was the clear leader with three wins, and Ruth Munro was in second place with two.  Some players were ready to call it a day, and indeed Ruth started bringing in the hoops from her lawn!  However, the plan had been to play four rounds, and so (having put the hoops back!) she started her game against Robert.   Because a tie was to be decided by the winner of the match between those involved, the winner of this match would be the winner of the event, making it, in effect, the final!

Robert started well, and built up a modest lead, but Ruth played steadily and carefully, husbanding her bisques and mostly using them one at a time to seize the innings when Robert had set up a good position and exploit it for herself.  After an hour and a half, all four clips were on 2-back, but Ruth still had two bisques standing, with which she managed to keep control of the game for the next twenty minutes, mostly confining Robert to long roquet attempts and twice using a bisque to re-claim the innings, exploit the rush that Robert had set up for himself, and make a hoop.

And so it was that the game reached its climax with just over 6 minutes left, when Ruth laid up with blue and black within 6 feet of their hoop, 3-back.  Robert missed a long shot at his partner ball, thus joining near the middle of the West boundary.  Ruth played black, roqueted blue gently to about 2 feet in front of 3-back, and tried to peel it.  But blue stopped against the hoop leg, where it was blocking black from running the hoop!  At this point, Ruth's Golf Croquet experience showed itself, and she played a jump shot!  Not only did she make the hoop, she also knocked blue to one side, so that she could come back and roquet it on her continuation shot!  She then took off across the lawn to separate Red and Yellow, but missed the roquet and ended up between them.   So now, Robert was three hoops down, with one and a half minutes to go!  He roqueted black and nudged it into the lawn, but rushed his partner ball well beyond 2-back.  Then, flustered by having only a few seconds left, he decided against trying a delicate long take-off, and instead opted to lay up with a rush back to the hoop.  This blunder gave Ruth the chance to move Blue from 3-back, so although Robert managed to make 2-back on his next turn, as time was called, he failed to get a rush to 3-back.   This dynamic climax meant that Ruth's calm, calculating play won her the match by two hoops, and also the Walker Cup!

Everybody won at least one game during the day, and their achievements during the day were enough to bring Ruth's handicap down to 18, and Robert's down to 9.    There was general agreement that the two hour time limit was much better than 90 minutes, and playing with full bisques (to a base of 10) meant that in the great majority of matches even the loser got more than 8 hoops.  However, only three games were actually pegged out (Janice Duguid and Brian Cosford each pegged out every game they won!).  This suggests that, if the event is going to try to fit four rounds into a one-day event, it may be better to play 14-point rather than 18-point games.

Robert Inder

5/6 of the players at the end of the day


Ruth Munro (20) beat Janice Duguid, Brian Cosford, Robert Inder
Robert Inder (10) beat Hamish Duguid, Janice Duguid, David Houston
David Houston (20) beat Ruth Munro and Hamish Duguid
Janice Duguid (11) beat Hamish Duguid and Brian Cosford
Hamish Duguid (14) beat Brian Cosford
Brian Cosford (18) beat David Houston