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2024 Berkshire Invitational

Stuart Lawrence - TD | Published on 6/22/2024

Berkshire Invitational

June 20-23, 2024
Lenox Croquet Club

With their home courts in Pinehurst, North Carolina repurposed for the U.S. Open golf tournament, Stephen and Teresa Errickson set out in mid-May for an extended RV tour of the Northeast, fitting in a stop at the Lenox Croquet Club to play in the club's 29th annual Berkshire Invitational American 6-wicket tournament. Stephen, playing off a handicap of 2, departed Lenox with two trophies in hand, one for winning the championship singles in a closely contested final against Courtney Green (2.5).

With handicaps that were the highest in their flight, Stephen and Courtney were not favorites on paper. Their stamina and adaptability worked in their favor as the competition unfolded, however, as an oppressive heat wave over the first two days was followed by torrential rains that left puddles on the championship lawn. In the final, Stephen's solid break play let him establish an early lead that he never relinquished, winning 19-14.

First flight singles produced few surprises, as top seed David Kepner (4.5) dropped only one game on his way to the knockout. He avenged his earlier loss to Fred Beck by beating him in the final 14-10.

Second flight singles was comprised of seven LCC members and one visitor, Bess Gallanis of Chicago. Bobbi Shorthouse, taking time out of her usual volunteer role to fill a late vacancy, looked unstoppable as she went undefeated through block play and the single-life knockout. But in the final she ran into Amy Bothwell, who seemed as surprised as she was pleased to be winning game after game herself. Amy and Bobbi agreed to play the final as a 75-minute, 14-point game, having tried the shortened game earlier in this tournament and other club events and found it worthwhile. Amy stopped Bobbi's streak with a 12-7 win on time.

Doubles competition returned this year for the first time since before the Covid-19 pandemic. Four rounds of Waterford doubles were followed by a final contested by the players with 1st/2nd and 3rd/4th best records. In the 8-player championship flight, Patrick Little of St. Catherines, Ontario paired with one of Lenox's top players, Preston Stuart, to win the final over Stephen Errickson and Courtney Green. First flight doubles encompassed the other 16 players in the tournament, pairing a player from the first flight singles with a second flight singles player in each round. The final pitted David Kepner (4.5) and Bobbi Shorthouse (10) against Rick Hayes (7) and Amy Bothwell (12), with Kepner and Shorthouse winning convincingly, 14-9.

Off the courts, players relaxed (or fled the sun and rain) in the LCC's courtside pavilion and enjoyed Berkshire County cultural attractions ranging from the Clark Art Institute to a John Fogerty concert at Tanglewood. Club members stepped up to organize and deliver what amounted to an all-day hospitality operation from Wednesday afternoon's opening reception through the Sunday brunch served during the semifinals and finals. Too many volunteers were involved to list in a tournament report, but special thanks are due to super-volunteers Bobbi and Denys Shorthouse and to hospitality coordinator Rita McNamara, along with all of the other members whose efforts made this a successful and very enjoyable event.

Stuart Lawrence, TD

Championship Singles

1. Stephen Errickson
2. Courtney Green
3. Preston Stuart
3. Patrick Little
5. Jim Wright
5. Jim Erwin
DNF Mike Gibbons

Courtney Green - Stephen Errickson trophies
TD Stuart Lawrence, Courtney Green & Stephen Errickson

First Flight Singles
1. David Kepner
2. Fred Beck
3. George Claffey
3. Teresa Errickson
5. Kathleen Green
5. Rick Hayes
5. Michael Jeary
5. Doug Greeff

David Kepner 1st flight singles winner
TD Stuart Lawrence and David Kepner

Second Flight Singles

1. Amy Bothwell
2. Bobbi Shorthouse
3. Katie Bull
3. Debbie Martin
5. Kim Beaty
5. Chris Darton
5. Beth Gallanis
5. Ken Heim

Amy Bothwell 2nd flight singles winner
TD Stuart Lawrence and Amy Bothwell

Championship Waterford Doubles
1. Patrick Little
1. Preston Stuart
2. Stephen Errickson
2. Courtney Green
5. Stuart Lawrence
6. Jim Erwin
7. Jim Wright
8. Mike Gibbons

Preston Stuart - Patrick Little champ doubles winners
Preston Stuart, Patrick Little with TD Stuart Lawrence

First Flight Waterford Doubles

1. David Kepner
1. Bobbi Shorthouse
2. Rick Hayes
2. Amy Bothwell
5. Kim Beaty
6. Michael Jeary
7. Chris Darton
8. Katie Bull
9. George Claffey
10. Teresa Errickson
11. Kathleen Green
12. Doug Greeff
13. Ken Heim
14. Fred Beck
15. Bess Gallanis
16. Debbie Martin

Bobbi Shorthouse - David Kepner 1st flight doubles winners
Bobbi Shorthouse, Stuart Lawrence, David Kepner