The 93-year-old Carlson, who has been playing the sport of kings for 75 years, discovered that he had won the tournament at the same time as everyone else: just after the last game of the tournament ended.
Carlson took a prize for the most total games won, which netted him dinner for two at the Pass Club. He also took prizes for most games won for the months of January and April (and won lunch for two, twice) and had the best attendance record, which garnered him a free racquet restring and regrip.
The three-month long tournament is set up by the Club’s assistant pro, Steve Ethier. The games are played every Friday. Each player is assigned a random partner by Ethier, and the pair plays another team. At the end of 30 minutes of play, the team that has won the most sets is split up and the individual players are partnered with the winning team from the next court down. They then play against one another with their new partners. Three rounds are played each Friday.
The player who has the most wins for the week receives a sleeve of tennis balls. The player who has the most wins each month gets a certificate for two for lunch at the club.
“You never know how it’s going to go,” said Carlson. “So much depends on your partner, and every round your partner changes. There are guys who can’t make it every week, though there are always at least 12 players. So you really can’t keep track of who is ahead.”
“The weekly prize, the tennis balls, are very nice,” laughed Carlson. “Though it is the certificate for lunch that really makes your wife happy.”
He plans to return to compete next year.
“Steve does such a good job setting the whole thing up,” Carlson said. “He’s out there every week running the whole thing. And all of the guys who come out to play are great. There are a few sharp comments thrown around while we are playing, but it’s all in good fun.”
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