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Good morning world!
Today the GCWC knockout starts with the match of the round being 17 yo U21 GC World Champion Felix Webby of New Zealand against reigning World Champion Ahmed El Mahdi of Egypt.
02 Mar 2017 6:54AM (Tournament); 2 Readers
The players are out on lawn 1, and we're in the clubhouse on a rather cool morning - completely misty and about 18 degrees today. Forecast is for that to burn off and to get to 27 later. Shame has I'd just got used to the low 30s and the wonderful warm nights that follow. To put this murkiness into context, I can only just make out the shelter past lawn 4!
02 Mar 2017 6:56AM (Tournament); 2 Readers
Felix and Mahdi warming up now. Sadly, it looks like the hoops have not been moved, as the half-way markers are still in place. They have mowed, but there is heaps of dew. Hoops 2 and 3 are just about obscured too.
02 Mar 2017 6:57AM (Tournament); 2 Readers
Joining us on the commentary team are world #7 John-Paul Moberly and Aussie legend Tony "Three Knees" Hall
02 Mar 2017 6:58AM (Tournament); 2 Readers
Remarkably, despite his youth, and Mahdi's status as current champion, Felix is firm favourite for this match. He has a beautiful technique, minimal body movement, significant power, and is currently one of the best shots in world croquet.
02 Mar 2017 6:59AM (Tournament); 3 Readers
Next door on lawn 2 we have Aussie number 1, Greg Fletcher v NZ's John Christie. Vying for Australian attention is another youngster, Edward Wilson, another fantastic shot with a great technique. Not sure Ned's hugely aggressive technique will stand up to 5 rounds of KO play, but if it does he could well be medalling.
02 Mar 2017 7:01AM (Tournament); 2 Readers
Game 1 - Felix v Mahdi
The toss... Felix will be chuffed to have won the toss.
02 Mar 2017 7:02AM (Tournament); 2 Readers
Plays blue into 5 feet and slightly angled. Mahdi rolls in to a similar distance, but straighter.
Another good ball in from Felix, and Mahdi is contemplating how runnable that blue is... rolls yellow in front.
02 Mar 2017 7:03AM (Tournament); 2 Readers
1-0 to Felix! - blue through by about 3 yards
Players now picking up their clips.
02 Mar 2017 7:05AM (Tournament); 3 Readers
Meanwhile, red plays up, the other three follow, and black has cleared red, leaving Mahdi a shot at hoop 2 with his yellow ball. .. runs it comfortably. #1-1#
02 Mar 2017 7:07AM (Tournament); 3 Readers
yus. remembered how to bold!
Felix plays blue across to perfect position at hoop 3. Two shots from Mahdi miss, and it's 2-1 to Felix .Great hoop stroke - runs it down to about 3 yards north and 40 deg west of hoop 4
02 Mar 2017 7:08AM (Tournament); 3 Readers
Red plays down well, but can be cleared towards corner 4. Black to slightly east and a couple of yards back.
02 Mar 2017 7:09AM (Tournament); 4 Readers
Yellow has played in towards the jaws of the hoop - sits on the west wire.
Lovely paced clearance has red near the corner and blue 6 inches in front. Mahdi clearing... misses!
felix leads 3-1 - runs the hoop off the side of yellow. This match could be over before Mahdi knows what has hit him!
02 Mar 2017 7:10AM (Tournament); 3 Readers
Yellow towards hoop 5. I blinked and am not sure if he was gently cleared by blue getting position, or just rolled past. Anyway, blue is in front
02 Mar 2017 7:11AM (Tournament); 5 Readers
Red rolls down - plants it on the back of the hoop!
Blue to nice jumping position. Red plays back through the hoop, and black clears yellow into corner 2. No lack of power for Felix
02 Mar 2017 7:12AM (Tournament); 4 Readers
Shooting (from about 5 yards south of c2)...misses. Felix with a jump to go 4-1 up
Nice controlled jump with blue up to the north boundary, and Felix Webby leads 4-1
02 Mar 2017 7:13AM (Tournament); 4 Readers
Red plays to a couple of yards north of the peg. Black to about 3 yards back - looks a bit short to me. Yellow plays up - it's gone adjacent to the hoop! - not a strong start for the Egyptian champion
Blue into tight position. Red clears black towards corner 4, going about 8 yards NNE of hoop 6
02 Mar 2017 7:14AM (Tournament); 5 Readers
Black playing back in. no... shooting! - fabulous shot - clears yellow almost into corner 4!! It'll have a bit of a double of blue and hoop, but there is considerable distance. Great shot!
02 Mar 2017 7:15AM (Tournament); 4 Readers
Mahdi shoots... misses!
Yellow now offside, and Felix has an easy hoop... Felix leads 5-1
02 Mar 2017 7:15AM (Tournament); 5 Readers
This morning we have the first half of the KO on the better 8 lawns, then the next half, followed by the round of 16 (I think they're in two sessions also)
02 Mar 2017 7:17AM (Tournament); 4 Readers
Red plays in front of hoop 7. Black has come up short (from near the east boundary, in the dew).
Yellow plays in to deepish position. Blue clears red (was there any doubt!).
Red plays in, black in to nice tight position, and that's gently cleared by yellow. Blue plays into position, and Mahdi wants the hoop knocked down for an angled shot with red? - no - hoop adjusted, but he has cleared blue instead.
02 Mar 2017 7:18AM (Tournament); 4 Readers
Lawn allocations up for the second half of the round of 32, and I'm on lawn 2. They're up to hoop 2, while Mahdi and Felix are on hoop 7. Think I'll see this match out
02 Mar 2017 7:19AM (Tournament); 6 Readers
All balls have played back into position. Red clearing black, but it can only get it off the north boundary. The standard of play here from so many people has made 'short boundary' tactics so relevant. There's nowhere to hide from these youngsters!
02 Mar 2017 7:20AM (Tournament); 6 Readers
Now i'm confused! - Felix shoots from teh north boundary - looks to me (and JP) like he'd run that - despite it spinning down to the middle of the south boundary. Apparently not??? - Mahdi runs 7 to just over halfway
02 Mar 2017 7:21AM (Tournament); 6 Readers
Felix leads 5-2
Everyone plays in, and Mahdi clears blue towards corner 1. Felix can reestablish his dominance here with a good clearance.
02 Mar 2017 7:22AM (Tournament); 7 Readers
... rushes red into corner 3!!!
02 Mar 2017 7:22AM (Tournament); 8 Readers
Beautiful balanced technique, minimal body movement. Felix has a conventional standard grip with his index finger down the shaft of the mallet. Unlike Edward who is experiencing considerable pain playing many days with his slightly unusual Solomon grip, Felix has now played 11 of the last 13 days and has reported no discomfort at all.
02 Mar 2017 7:23AM (Tournament); 8 Readers
Mahdi misses from corner 3 - Felix Webby leads Ahmed El Mahdi 6-2
02 Mar 2017 7:23AM (Tournament); 9 Readers
Yellow takes perfect position at hoop 9
02 Mar 2017 7:24AM (Tournament); 9 Readers
I missed what blue did, but it's nowhere to be seen.
Red plays in.
02 Mar 2017 7:24AM (Tournament); 10 Readers
Black clearing from the south boundary.. rush peels yellow!! Hugely unlucky.
02 Mar 2017 7:25AM (Tournament); 12 Readers
Quick commentary room check: Me and JP reckon the shot at hoop 7 was through the hoop, but Ian Burridge, with a similar angle confirms it hit the outside wire.
02 Mar 2017 7:26AM (Tournament); 11 Readers
Blue has reappeared - that had had a shot at yellow, so is on the east boundary
02 Mar 2017 7:26AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Felix leads 6-3
Mahdi plays yellow up to slightly eastern, but runnable, position
02 Mar 2017 7:26AM (Tournament); 12 Readers
Blue shoots at the double... hits the hoop - so close.
Red plays up. Black shoots... clears red - was just a miss on yellow. Mahdi creeps through the hoop Felix leads 6-4
02 Mar 2017 7:27AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Now down the treacherous home straight. Felix takes good position at hoop 11 with blue.
02 Mar 2017 7:28AM (Tournament); 12 Readers
Mahdi plays in well with red.
02 Mar 2017 7:29AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Felix shooting... nails red to the east boundary... and Mahdi returns the favour to save the game
Black plays in to 2.5 yard straight position. Yellow is back.Red will have a 10 yarder at black...
02 Mar 2017 7:30AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Misses! This for game 1...
Felix runs a very solid hoop 11 to take game 1. Felix Webby won game 1 7-4
02 Mar 2017 7:31AM (Tournament); 14 Readers
Felix Webby is currently number 10 in the world rankings, and Mahdi number 16, however these rankings are a couple of days old, and don't include some huge matches for Felix - including a 7-1 7-2 annihilation of previous world champ Mohamed Nasr.
02 Mar 2017 7:33AM (Tournament); 12 Readers
Meanwhile, on lawn 2, Greg Fletcher has had a slow start and has just won hoop 4 to be 3-1 down to the veteran kiwi, John Christie.
02 Mar 2017 7:34AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Red plays in first, to 5 foot straight.
Yellow takes slightly longer, straight position. Shooting.. misses left this time.
02 Mar 2017 7:35AM (Tournament); 14 Readers
We're not missing anything on lawn 2 - Greg seems to have disappeared for a wee break
02 Mar 2017 7:36AM (Tournament); 14 Readers
Mahdi at hoop 1.. Mahdi leads 1-0 - runs the hoop up to about 5 yards south of hoop 2, and it has wandered a bit east.
Black plays up, but is short, though it seems to have encouraged yellow to go too long
02 Mar 2017 7:37AM (Tournament); 14 Readers
(Greg's back on his lawn and shooting - Christie in front of hoop 5...)
Felid plays blue up, bit short again,a and Mahdi is having a go at a long angled hoop2... bounces out towards the west boundary.
02 Mar 2017 7:37AM (Tournament); 16 Readers
Felix has a long hoop 2.... runs it well with black - nice solid strokes here. 1-1
02 Mar 2017 7:38AM (Tournament); 14 Readers
(Meanwhile Greg had stalked, had a few swings, and missed. John C is taking a wee while to run his 18 inch hoop)
02 Mar 2017 7:38AM (Tournament); 15 Readers
Yellow takes position at 3, red and blue play in... and Felix clears yellow from north of hoop 2!
02 Mar 2017 7:39AM (Tournament); 14 Readers
Yellow has played back in, so clearly blue is too angled to have a go at the hoop. Contemplating clearing yellow (straight in front) or red (angled). Goes for red, putting red off the east boundary and blue 5 y north of hoop 3. Mahdi checking if black is indeed off the lawn .. yes it is.
02 Mar 2017 7:40AM (Tournament); 14 Readers
Plays red just in front of black - but did he get it far enough to block the clearance on yellow?
02 Mar 2017 7:40AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Not far enough - Black clears yellow, yellow returns - blue has a long go at the hoop... through by a few yards. He is hitting the ball so straight. Felix Webby leads 2-1
02 Mar 2017 7:42AM (Tournament); 17 Readers
(Christie is all over Fletcher on lawn 2 - has just taken blocking position at hoop 6)
02 Mar 2017 7:42AM (Tournament); 16 Readers
red takes good position. Black clearing...misses. Yellow plays in, .. another clearance from blue. black then clears red - probably was blocking (got distracted. Mahdi has an easy hoop 2 with yellow 2-2
02 Mar 2017 7:45AM (Tournament); 16 Readers
these are quite quick players, and the Christie Fletcher match is about quarter the pace, so if you look away lots of things happen!
02 Mar 2017 7:45AM (Tournament); 15 Readers
Right.. blue takes good position at 5, red plays in, black comes in.
02 Mar 2017 7:45AM (Tournament); 17 Readers
yellow clearing from south of 4 - misses!! Great opportunity to take 5 and dominate hoop 6!
02 Mar 2017 7:46AM (Tournament); 18 Readers
Felix leads 3-2 - runs 5 up to 4 feet NW of 6
02 Mar 2017 7:46AM (Tournament); 19 Readers
Red comes in to a possible wire from blue - if he got that spot it was a good shot
Black takes position about 7 feet back
02 Mar 2017 7:46AM (Tournament); 20 Readers
(Greg had won hoop 6 and is now 2-4 down, but seems to have some control at hoop 7)
02 Mar 2017 7:47AM (Tournament); 20 Readers
Yellow to good position about 18 inches back, blue plays in to block that - must have been wired from red. Looks like he blocks red from clearing black also, as red gently nudges blue away. but the hoop is open on black...
02 Mar 2017 7:48AM (Tournament); 17 Readers
Felix leads 4-2 - runs an easy hoop with black
Mahdi has now taken excellent position at 7 with yellow. Felix uncharacteristically clearing with his first ball - it is to a short boundary though, and he could end up still in running position if he middles it. ...misses!
02 Mar 2017 7:49AM (Tournament); 19 Readers
Red takes good position.
Felix lining up his shot from the middle of the north boundary.. nails yellow.
02 Mar 2017 7:50AM (Tournament); 18 Readers
Yellow takes the opportunity to clear black to teh middle of east boundary, and lines yellow in directly north of hoop 7
02 Mar 2017 7:51AM (Tournament); 19 Readers
Blue plays in from the corner to block red. Red should have an easy jump.
02 Mar 2017 7:51AM (Tournament); 20 Readers
Missed what red did, but black plays in now, and yellow has tried to clear blue, rushing it onto the wire, and both balls don't go too far
02 Mar 2017 7:52AM (Tournament); 21 Readers
Blue stuns red away - lovely shot, putting red into corner 3 while holding position
(Meanwhile Tony has advised that Greg surrendered hoop 7 at some stage, going towards the peg, John Christie leads 5-2!)
Red shooting from corner 3... clears blue. This is a good quality match.
02 Mar 2017 7:53AM (Tournament); 22 Readers
Black has an angled hoop... runs it down to level with hoop 1! Felix leads 5-2
Mahdi has failed one hoop, and Felix has run everything apart from a 28 yard double where he hit the wire!
02 Mar 2017 7:54AM (Tournament); 23 Readers
Yellow to longish position, blue has gone too far and is next to the hoop. Red is in front.
02 Mar 2017 7:54AM (Tournament); 22 Readers
Gentle clearance with black.. misses.
Blue plays in tight in front of red and yellow, and Mahdi gently clears this - red and blue now next to hoop 8. Yellow about a yard back and only slightly angled. Black is on the east boundary - shooting..
02 Mar 2017 7:55AM (Tournament); 21 Readers
misses. Looks like it was close
(John's shooting at Greg, who is in front of hoop 8 - hits!)
02 Mar 2017 7:56AM (Tournament); 22 Readers
Mahdi has a go at hoop 8 - fails it!!. Felix clears this to hoop 9, and has about 5 yard straight position - didn't hit that as well as he'd like.
02 Mar 2017 7:57AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
Mahdi plays red to right in front. Clearing from west boundary... centre ball!
Mahdi plays yellow in. Will Felix have a hack at his 5 yard hoop... yes...
02 Mar 2017 7:57AM (Tournament); 25 Readers
Runs it beautifully, with a celebratory fist. Felix Webby leads 6-2 This is a stunning display from the young kiwi!
02 Mar 2017 7:58AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
Red plays to 3 feet in front of hoop 9. Mahdi's position taking has been very good, but his shooting is below par and Felix has been incredible.
Black shoots - a rare miss.
Yellow plays in - it's short and too tight - not runnable.
02 Mar 2017 7:59AM (Tournament); 25 Readers
Blue shooting.. clears red!
Red plays back in. Black comes in - gets the spot where red is preventing yellow clearing black. Yellow takes position. Hands on hips as he watches Felix take aim. Another centre ball clearance!
02 Mar 2017 8:00AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
Mahdi now on the West boundary. Black is deepish, but in front of hoop 9. .. red misses. This for the match...
02 Mar 2017 8:00AM (Tournament); 22 Readers
Ian Burridge has stepped outside to offer a standing ovation - pretty much perfect match by Felix - Felix Webby wins 7-4 7-2 against the 2015 world champion
02 Mar 2017 8:01AM (Tournament); 22 Readers
Meanwhile it's 5-2 on the lawn I'm waiting for. That was all over in an hour!
02 Mar 2017 8:02AM (Tournament); 21 Readers
John Christie is now up 6-2 against Greg Fletcher - he has just run hoop 8 from the north boundary!
02 Mar 2017 8:02AM (Tournament); 20 Readers
Chris is back - he has been up on the balcony filming, so hopefully there will be some good footage up on youtube soon - probs not until 7-8 March when we're back though
02 Mar 2017 8:04AM (Tournament); 19 Readers
I'm going to take a break now, and will be back either later today, or sometime tomorrow. Current quick look around the lawns has Wendy Dickson holding her own with Ahmed Nasr, Edward Wilson looks to be 6-3 up, but game down against Pete Landrebe over on lawn 4. The view of the grounds is very clear now, though murkey behind. Shadows are sharp now.
02 Mar 2017 8:14AM (Tournament); 22 Readers
Christie and Fletcher starting game 2 - John won that first one.. Time for a break.
02 Mar 2017 8:15AM (Tournament); 21 Readers
At 17 Jun 2021 3:56AM (Tournament) there are 3 people reading commentaries.