Several of us have batted around the idea of a senior tournament that intentionally excludes the top national players and is played by us common folk. With the exception of the likes of Joe Bachmann, that is what this week’s Payne Park tournament really was like.
“A Tournament for the rest of us”
For those who were Seinfeld watchers, you probably remember George’s father complaining “There was Christmas, there was Chanukah, and there was even Qwanza.” So he created “Festivus: the holiday for the rest of us.”
A variation of that concept would be what I think Larry Turville calls “Block Seeding,” where the top players are allowed to enter, but don’t play a match until the third or fourth round; so the non-top players get to play closer matches in the early rounds.
What do you think?
I got up to Sarasota (after my two-hour commute from Naples) in time to see my fill-in partner Timm Rinehart in the 70s singles vs. Tom LaPenna. Timm had won the first set; but was trailing 1-4 in the second when I arrived.
LaPenna then held serve and Timm was serving at 1-5. I was sitting with John Lundquist and we both agreed that Timm should save his energy and dump the set to go stronger into the third set (and save SOMETHING for our doubles final to follow!).
But Timm kept clawing away and running down shots corner to corner. He ended up winning six games in a row to win the deciding set 7-5. Never give up!
After he had a quick lunch and shirt change, we took to the court for our finals vs. the solid team of Bill Christensen and Rich Bruer, both of Clearwater, Florida. My assessment was that we were about evenly matched… and that is what it turned out to be.
They got an early break in the first set and I found myself serving at 1-4, Love-40. Timm and I didn’t give up and held that service game. We then broke their next service game to bring it back on serve.
It stayed that way until the first set tie breaker; but they won it.
The air came out of us a little. I was “flat” in the quality of my play and Timm was understandably tiring after his long week of singles and doubles; so they were able to take the second set at 6-3 for the championship.
Considering that Timm and I had never played together before, to get to the finals is a real accomplishment. Thanks to him for filling in for the injured Hank Irvine (who just called me to say that he CANNOT play in next week’s tournament; so I will save myself the four-hour daily round trip drive and hang around Naples next week).
Here is the link to the tournament (but as of 7:30 p.m. full results were not posted).
P.S. The picture is beer in my “prize” for the finals. The winners got the same, with different words (no cash prizes at this tournament).
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