Report by Jim Corr
The 2022 PIMD (All Gender) Pairs Tournament featured several “firsts.” It was the first in two years due to the COVID pandemic ruling out this competition for 2021, and was the first ever to be held in two stages at two different greens. It was also, as far as anyone could recall, the first in PIMD to feature the “strength-to-strength” format in the final round. As far as the two-greens element is concerned, the thinking behind the PIMD Tournament Committee’s decision was that prowess at two different venues would be a good indicator of the worthiness of the champions.
Sixteen teams signed up for the event, with the first round being held at Rossmoor LBC on Saturday, May 14, randomly assigned to four round robin sections of four teams. The two winners of each section, plus the next four best in the overall standings advanced to the final round, which was held at the Berkeley club a week later.
At the latter stage, teams were matched “strength-to-strength,” which meant the team ranked Number 1 from the preliminary round played Number 2, Number 3 played Number 4, and so on down the line. Following the results of the first game, teams were re-sorted according to their new position in the standings and again played 1 v 2, 3 v 4, etc. After the second game, the process was repeated once more. Two features of this format are notable: first, as the name implies, teams get matched against their close peers from the preliminaries and, second, a team in the lower reaches of the rankings can make considerable progress toward the top if they win all their second round games and depending on how other results fall out. This latter element proved to be quite relevant.
Coming into the finals, the husband and wife team of Larry Collaco and Gloria Rios (Rossmoor) led the way, but in the first game lost out to the Berkeley duo of Hugo Deaux and Jim Audas, the only other team to have won all three games in Round 1. Hugo and Jim A. followed that with an exceedingly close win over Jim Corr (Berkeley) and Micheal McClintock (Santa Clara) that saw one of those “turning point” shots that bowlers know only too well. Holding four in the head, which would have put them two up with two ends left, Jim C. decided to try for five but, narrowly missing the line, succeeded in hitting in one of the opponents’ bowls, thereby reducing the margin on that end to one. The three-point swing was more than enough to account for Hugo and Jim Audas’s victory by one point. In another narrow win, Hugo and Jim A. overcame Tom Burnoski and Ian Cameron (San Jose) in Match 3, thereby becoming the only team to go undefeated over the two rounds of the tournament and thus well-deserved champions.
Also impressive was the performance of David Eldred and Ron Esparaza (San Francisco). Starting off the final day in last (12th) place, they put together a string of three victories and marched through the rankings to end up in 4th—and right on the heels of Tom and Ian who took third place with a one-point better differential.
Congratulations to Hugo and Jim and thanks to all at both clubs who put in the time and effort to make the event a great success.
Thank you Bernie Birt for the great photos!
You can find more photos from the day on the PIMD website