Eight members of The Planation Croquet Program went to the National Croquet Center in West Palm Beach Dec 6-8 to compete as a team in the National Club Team Doubles Tournament against other players from across the US.
Clint Dawkins and Victor Fransen competed in the championship flight. They played against some of the top players in the country, beating two teams seeded sixth and seventh above them and qualified for the quarter finals. They played Sherif Abdelwahab (the #1 golf croquet player in the U.S.) and his partner Hal Denton. Dawkins and Fransen narrowly lost that game 5-6, which was a super performance.
Sue and Phil Edmond, Debbie Davidoff and Earl Mauldin, and Dot and Bill Simmons made the quarter finals in first flight. In the first flight playoff Phil and Sue Edmond played an undefeated club team, losing 7-10 and tying for fourth place.
Davidoff and Mauldin advanced to the semi-final. In a close match, they led all the way, winning 8-7 to advance to the final.
Dot and Bill Simmons defeated their opposing club 7-1 and advanced to the semi-final to play another club team, defeating them 6-5 in a close match to move on to the final.
By that point, The Plantation team had won the tournament advancing two doubles teams to the final.
All that was left was to determine bragging rights as The Plantation’s Debbie Davidoff and Earle Mauldin squared off against Dot and Bill Simmons in the final. The Simmons took an early 2-point lead that they held most of the 90-minute match, but Davidoff and Mauldin rallied in the last 10 minutes to win 7-6 and first place in the tournament.
The Plantation is an owner equity community in Ponte Vedra Beach, providing amenities such as croquet, golf, tennis, dining and a beach club to its members. The Plantation built its croquet lawn in January 2016. In only three years it has moved from no-croquet to being a significant force in the southeast. The club’s players have placed in tournaments in Pennsylvania, Florida, Virginia and California. The Plantation’s lawn is competitive with the best croquet lawns in the US. Croquet is a fast growing, low impact sport in Florida.