Teenager Fordyce creates history in national golf croquet open singles final
Sixteen year-old Edmund Fordyce has become the youngest player to win the New Zealand golf croquet national open singles title following his recent success in Nelson.
The talented young South Canterbury player emerged as one of the stars of the national golf croquet tournament, hosted by Croquet Nelson, following his 5-7 5-7 7-3 7-5 7-1 win over Auckland's Josh Freeth in the open singles final.
The tournament involved several world-ranked players from throughout New Zealand and Australia and was held at two venues, Nelson Hinemoa for the open event and Richmond for the limited.
In a field of 35 players, Fordyce had beaten eight-time champion Duncan Dixon of Canterbury 7-5 7-6 in the semifinals, with Freeth beating Auckland's Hamish McIntosh 7-4 7-5. Dixon and McIntosh finished third and fourth respectively.
Declan Leahy beat Nelson's Doug Nottage 7-1 7-6 in the open singles plate decider, while 80-year-old Eleanor Hannay from Richmond beat Australia's Kate McLoughlin 7-5 7-6 in the limited singles final. Nelson's Ellie Ross beat South Canterbury's Caitlin Smith 7-4 6-7 7-5 for third.
Hawkes Bay's Tony Stephens beat youth player Connell Leahy 7-3 7-4 in the Y event final for the eight first round losers, with Taranaki's Felix Webby beat Thames Valley's John Christie 7-3 7-6 in the Z event final for second round losers..
The tournament had opened with the doubles event, with 16 teams contesting the two-day open competition and after a six-hour battle in the open final, Freeth and McIntosh beat Dixon and Taranaki's Grace Mohi 7-1 6-7 7-6.
Brothers Declan and Connell Leahy from Manawatu-Wanganui won the open doubles plate final beating Australia's Peter Freer and Bay of Plenty's Sue Roberts 5-4 6-5.
Hawkes Bay's Colleen Reynolds and Jayne Powis beat Richmond's Alister Russ and Riwaka's Mike Speak 7-5 7-1 in the limited doubles decider and the team of Richmond's Eleanor Hannay and Nelson's Pam Seymour beat Nelson Hinemoa's Wally Codyre and Ellie Ross 5-7 7-3 7-4 for the limited doubles plate.
Richmond's Dave and Jenny Close beat Hawkes Bay's Joan and Jeff Cook for third.