Buffalo 7th Annual 6W Invitational
August 17-20, 2023
Delaware Park, Buffalo, NY
Hometown Victory in Buffalo
Paul Neubecker Wins on the Courts Where He Learned to Play
By Ryan Thompson
Doubles champion Brian Hovis (partnered with Rich Laging) captured this
drone footage during the singles semifinals
on Sunday, August 20, 2023 in Delaware Park, Buffalo.
BUFFALO (Aug. 17-20, 2023) – In his final year of being a part-time Buffalo resident, before fully transplanting to the Big Apple, Paul Neubecker has won his hometown championship. It was a fitting victory for the young player who first learned how to play croquet on these courts in Delaware Park.
Neubecker, 35, began competing in the Buffalo Croquet Club’s 6-Wicket Invitational when the tournament first began seven years ago, winning consecutive Second Flight Doubles championships, before winning First Flight Doubles in 2018. It would be several years before he would win again on his hometown soil, as Neubecker transitioned to Championship Flight.
After entering in the inaugural Buffalo Croquet Club 6-Wicket Invitational in 2016
as a rookie Second Flighter, Paul Neubecker has risen up the national ranks and is now
the hometown champion, defeating Hall of Famer Rich Curtis in the finals.
The Championship Flight favorites would make the playoffs on Sunday (including David Isaacs, Rich Curtis and Doug Moore). Curtis defeated Moore in a 11-9 semifinal sleeper to remain undefeated in the tournament thus far, and Neubecker beat Isaacs 16-12 after an exchange of breaks. But Neubecker would go on to beat Curtis in a lopsided 24-9 final, sending Curtis back to Rochester with his third runner-up trophy from Buffalo.
In First Flight, tournament newcomer Bryan Zindel returned to his Illinois corn farm with nothing but tracking points and trophies. The 3-handicap went undefeated in singles, beating the top seed Courtney Green (who is somehow ranked in the Grand Prix standings as both a man and woman) in the final. Buffalo Croquet Club President Bob Gannon, who squeaked out a place in the playoffs via gross wickets, would win the third place trophy over Ron Millican by one net wicket, after each fell in the semifinals.
Buffalo Croquet Club President and Tournament Manager Bob Gannon (left)
and Tournament Director Ryan Thompson (right) congratulate former
USCA President Rich Curtis on yet another Second Place trophy in Buffalo.
Another tournament newcomer Quinn Reinhardt impressed with his croquet play at the previous week’s Rochester Croquet tournament and in between his summer studies at Cornell University. With the Buffalo tournament continuing to draw low handicaps, the 5-seed was relegated to Second Flight. However, he would fall in the finals 21-20 to underdog Kathleen Green, who returned to her sixth consecutive Buffalo tournament on a mission to change her 9-handicap. She would leave with the victory and a whopping 42 tracking points after going undefeated. Jan Fisher, who had also gone undefeated in block play, would pick up the third place trophy after losing in the semifinals.
With an added fourth-game slot on Sunday, doubles semifinalists were faced with an earlier morning than usual, after imbibing late Saturday night at the exclusive Saturn Club. Celebrating the 100th anniversary of when the club was raided by the FBI during Prohibition, there were casino and card games, jazz bands and a mock police bust (complete with former Buffalo Croquet Club President Bill Rupp’s expert siren operation).
Quinn Reinhardt and Jennifer Joseph would defeat Lee Anderson and Peter Bowers in the First Flight Doubles finals, and Brian Hovis and Rich Laging would defeat Paul Neubecker and F. Scott Kennedy in the Championship Flight Doubles finals.
As they say in Buffalo, “Go Bills.”
1. Paul Neubecker
2. Rich Curtis
3. David Isaacs
4. Doug Moore
5. Rich Laging
6. Rodney Lassiter
7. Donna Dixon
8. Patrick Little
9. Chris Loat
10. Brian Hovis
First Flight Singles
1. Bryan Zindel
2. Courtney Green
3. Bob Gannon
4. Ron Millican
5. John Joseph
6. F. Scott Kennedy 3rd
7. Anne Frost Robinson
8. Ryan Thompson
9. Deborah Millican
10. Cameron James
11. Leo Leither
12. Jane Beharriell
Second Flight Singles
1. Kathleen Green
2. Quinn Reinhardt
3. Jan Fisher
4. Lee Anderson
5. Peter Bowers
6. Gary Anderson
7. Bill Vrooman
8. Bill Sullivan
9. Jennifer Joseph
10. Ryan Boniface
1. Brian Hovis & Rich Laging
2. Paul Neubecker & Scott Kennedy 3rd
3. Doug Moore & Bryan Zindel
4. Rodney Lassiter & Bob Gannon
5. Rich Curtis & Jane Beharriell
5. Patrick Little & Chris Loat
5. David Isaacs & Deborah Millican
First Flight Doubles
1. Quinn Reinhardt & Jennifer Joseph
2. Lee Anderson & Peter Bowers
3. Ron Millican & James Peasley
4. Cameron James & Ryan Boniface
5. John Joseph & Kathleen Green
5. Leo Leither & Bill Vrooman
5. Anne Frost Robinson & Bill Sullivan