Van Tassell, Zoric, and Bull Win at Berkshire Invitational
This year’s Berkshire Invitational US Rules tournament (June 9-12, 2022) was unlike most in the recent past.
The club’s go-to tournament director, David Ekstrom, and sure-fire best player, Stuart Lawrence, were otherwise engaged. David was in West Palm Beach caring for his wife, Martie; meanwhile, Stuart, who also manages the excellent Lenox lawns, was contending in the Croquet Canada National Association Open at Bayfield, ON. With seven wins and four TPs in block play, Stuart was knocked out in the semis by eventual Cro-Can winner Doug Grimsley.
So, in Lenox, Bob Van Tassell of NCC stepped in to take care of business in championship flight, besting Patrick Little of Royal St. Catharine’s CC (ON) in the finals, 18-10. Semifinalists, tying for third, were David McCoy and Preston Stuart.
In first flight, Steve Zoric of Dorset (VT) Field Club continued his meteoric rise through the handicap ranks by going undefeated in block play (6-0) and eking out a 13-12 victory over David Kepner of NCC and Westhampton Mallet Club in the knockout finals. Steve has been playing tournament 6-wicket croquet for less than a year. Keep an eye in the rear-view mirror, boys and girls: he’s closing fast! Handicap 7 and dropping.
In second flight, Katie Bull of Sarasota County CC and Lenox CC was 5-1 in the block and won a thrilling final match in the playoffs against Carol Stuart (NCC and Lenox), by a score of 11-10.
The Berkshire Invitational was managed by George Claffey, who stepped in for David Ekstrom, while Webster Bull served as tournament director. Bobbi Shorthouse headed a remarkable volunteer effort by Lenox members, providing food and drink at all hours. Twenty-six players entered, competed, ate, and occasionally drank.
David McCoy, Bob Van Tassell, Preston Stuart, & Patrick Little
Steve Zoric, Preston Stuart, & David Kepner
Preston Stuart, Carol Stuart, Katie Bull, & Webster Bull
Photos by Ed Michaels