2011 Butterfly Cary Cup
Part 1: Getting there - Thursday, March 17
Tim Boggan had been staying at my house for two weeks as I did the layouts and photo work on History of U.S. Table Tennis, Vol. 11, so we went down together on Thursday, March 17. He was doing the coverage while I was playing only in the hardbat event, coaching the rest of the way. The drive down was uneventful other than the usual extravagantly expensive Tim kept treating me to (as he had for two weeks). I could eat for a week on what he paid for one of our meals. I spent Thursday night in Tim's hotel room.
Part 2: Hardbat - Friday, March 18
This was held on Friday, from 10AM to 4PM. I was the defending champion, so all the pressure was on me, right? Ah well, us champions have to get used to it. :) In my round robin, I had a tough match with Chris OBrian (no apostrophe in his name) and his big forehand smash, and he led much of each game, but I ran them both out near the end. (All hardbat matches were best of three to 21, using 38mm balls.) Jim McQueen was also a surprisingly tough match with his touch and backhand pick-hitting, but I adjusted and pulled away near the end of each game.
In the final four-person RR, I had to play Chris again. Down 6-11 in the first, I jokingly (or was it?) complained about the five edge balls and one net dribbler he'd already scored with! I'm not making that up. At one point he won three straight points on edges. Most of them were because he was playing everything to the wide corners, trying to get away from my forehand, so he was also missing balls off the side. He ended up winning that game, but I won the next two. The only thing worse than an opponent getting nets & edges is an opponent getting nets & edges who is also playing well! Chris has a nice forehand, and his angled backhands were also effective, even when they weren't clipping the edge.