Paul Scott of Raleigh—and originally the UK—won the “Country Boys Croquet Tournament” for a record fourth time, proving that you can take the boy out of [his] country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy.
In the final, Scott beat Danny Huneycutt by +26tp. As the score suggests, Country Boys switched to Association Croquet this year. Also, the format was singles only. In this tournament’s early years the doubles was in some ways the main event of the tournament, and of course the tournament had always been American rules (except for a brief flirtation with WCF Golf Croquet doubles in 2000). The tournament was always popular under this format, filling up every year. But Mack Penwell, the tournament’s founder and host, felt it was time for a change.
The format was flexible Swiss leading to a single-life knockout. The qualification rules were simplified this year, and all players who won at least half their games (two wins minimum) advanced to the knockout. Country Boys regular Punk Graves lost his first four games, but then clawed his way into the knockout by wining four in a row.
NC croquet bigwig Danny Huneycutt set the standard in the qualifying phase, going 6–0 and reeling off five successive triple peels. This included a win over reigning national champ Bob Cherry. Huneycutt, who blazed onto the national scene with semi-finalist appearances at two national championships in 2003, is wrapping up his third year of tournament play. He survived a scare in the quarterfinals against another rapid improver, Bill Bopp. He then advanced to the final by beating Bill Berne.
Bopp had beaten Scott in the qualifying phase. But Scott, his mallet idle since August, once again showed his uncanny ability to get into top form in short time. He advanced to the knockout with a 4–1 record, then beat Ron Lloyd and Stewart Jackson to reach the final.
The final was a high-quality match, if one-sided. Scott hit and went round on the fourth turn, then finished with a triple peel on the sixth turn.
Ed Roberts and Ron Lloyd bagged their first-ever tournament triple peels.
Last modified on 12 December 2004