THE BRITISH CONTINUE TO LOOK LIKE WORLD CHAMPIONS AS BLOCK LEADERS EMERGE IN DAY TWOby Bob Alman
Stephen Mulliner has racked up his four block wins with characterisic flair, dispatching in the process two promising Americans, Jerry Stark and Wayne Rodoni - both of whom have been runners up in the tournament. Mulliner executed three of the wins with triple peels and has amassed a net point lead of +70. Rodoni, second in the block, has a chance to catch Mulliner if Mulliner falls to Shane Davis of New Zealand.
There have been no sextuples or other spectacular playing feats so far, though in the opinion of referee Richard Hilditch, Mulliner is setting the pace this year and at this point would be the favorite to win it all for the fourth time. "He's a hitter," Hilditch explains, gesturing to the smooth lawns where every ball hit truly should strike its target.
But every block - even Mulliner's - is still up for grabs by strong challengers at this halfway point, so no one can predict which players will win their block and thus win a place in the Medalist Round.
BLUE BLOCK - RESULTS AFTER TWO DAYS
Aaron Westerby of New Zealand (winner in 1996) leads the block with three out of four wins. Undefeated in the block with two games each are Jeff Dawson, Lewis Palmer, and Robert Rebuschatis.
RED BLOCK - RESULTS AFTER TWO DAYS
Steve Jones of New Zealand leads the block with three wins. Undefeated are world champion Chris Clarke and Debbie Cornelius.
BLACK BLOCK - RESULTS AFTER TWO DAYS
Tony Stephens of New Zealand leads the block with three wins and one loss, edging out Harley Watts of Australia, who also has three wins and one loss.
YELLOW BLOCK - RESULTS AFTER TWO DAYS
Stephen Mulliner of England leads the block undefeated with four wins. American Wayne Rodoni (second last year) is in second place in this block, with three wins and a loss to Mulliner.
Thanks to John Taylor and Mike Orgill for making possible these daily report in CROQUET WORLD ONLINE MAGAZINE.
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