Bundaberg Croquet Club member Troy McCallum was crowned Queensland’s best croquet player after winning the AC Men’s Open Singles last month.
The proud Bundaberg resident has played the game for 20 years and said this win was particularly special, as it came after a four-month hiatus due to coronavirus restrictions.
“This one for me was pretty special because I haven’t won it before,” he said.
“I’ve won previous other events, but to be able to be the men’s open single champion of Queensland is pretty special,” Troy said.
He blitzed the competition, winning five of the six games.
He beat the second-place winner by 63 points.
“I had five out of six wins and in the end I lost the last match, but I still won and if the player was to tie with me in matches, I still would’ve won on points, because I accumulated 105 points and the next person on four wins was on 42 points,” he said.
“I still tried for the win in the last round, but I wasn’t disappointed because I still won the event, and just to be back and able to travel away again and catch up with all the competitors was great.”
A combination of chess and billiards
Troy began playing croquet 20 years ago and, in that time, has been part of the Queensland’s state men’s team.
He was drawn to the game by its unique ability to combine strength and strategy.
“I’ve always enjoyed a challenging sport and croquet has two ways of challenging in that it’s a combination of chess and billiards,” he said.
“Chess for strategy and billiards for the black, black red yellow balls. The strategy is to try and keep your opponent out for as long as possible, and it’s a real thinking game.”
He said that despite the stigma that croquet is an older man’s game, players of all ages were discovering the addictive appeal of croquet, particularly golf croquet.
“I recommend anyone giving it a go, not straight croquet, but golf croquet as it’s a really good introduction for people to get in and have a go,” he said.
Troy was also appreciative of the support from the Bundaberg Croquet Club.
- Other news: Public meeting on Paradise Dam class action