Huneycutt Claims 2nd Rocky Mountain International AC Title
The 4th annual Rocky Mountain International was played under Spring skies in Denver, Colorado at the Denver Country Club and Washington Park. 11 players completed a single game round robin over three days with the top two players advancing to a best of three final on Sunday. Third and fourth place finishers played a best of three consolation finals and the remaining players fought it out for the plate. Both lawns were in great shape and the level of play quite good.
Who would play in the finals and consolation finals was in doubt until the final two games, wherein Danny Huneycutt knocked Ben Rothman down to the consolation finals and Rich Lamm knocked Charlie Gillmarten out of the finals in favor of Jeff Soo. So, the Big Dogs "woof, woof, woof" (Soo & Huneycutt) framed a repeat of the 2009 final while the Young Pups "yip, yip, yip" (Rothman & Gillmarten) joined in a sextuple or die pact.
In the end, Danny Huneycutt laid claim to the title for the second time while Ben Rothman, the 2010 RMI champion, added a second RMI sextuple to his tournament record. The plate, a three-round single game knockout with all remaining seven players from the original block, was won by Denver's own Paul Billings, executing a clinical +16TP (one pop) over Rich Lamm, hitting the lift and never turning back.
The real winner here was Denver Croquet. Tournament chairman Ron Eccles scored the greatest coup of all, with two photographs on the front page of the Denver Post May 23. These photos covered half the page, so effectively the entire city of 2.5 million woke up to Denver Croquet on Monday.
Charlie Gillmarten fought well in his first RMI event, bringing great shooting skills and poise to the Mile High City. George Cochran completed his first tournament TP. Ron Hendry finished his now weekly thrashing of Rich Lamm. There are a thousand stories to tell, but what happens in Denver, stays in Denver (unless you buy me a mountain dew).
Kudos to organizers Ron Eccles, Judy McKeon, Rich Lamm, the entire Denver Croquet Club membership for all their help and all the players for a great four days in the Rockies. Gratitude from all to Mickey and Peter Paulos for hosting the reception Saturday evening at their penthouse residence. We witnessed unparalleled views 60 miles North to Rocky Mountain National Park and Longs Peak, all across the front range, the U-2 concert at Mile-High stadium, downtown Denver and South 60 miles to Pikes Peak.
Final order of finish:
1. Danny Huneycutt