On Saturday, January 26th Hamilton will host the 5th annual Golden Horseshoe Tournament. It will be the first crokinole tournament to be played in 2013 and the last tournament before the NCA hits "the business end" of the 2012-2013 Tour. As mid-March will see the BC Provincial Championships start off a string of crokinole tournaments every few weeks right up until the World Championships including the London Crokinole Club tournament, the PEI Provincial Championships, the Joseph Schneider Haus, and the Ontario Singles Championship (aka the NCA Finale).
The Golden Horseshoe tournament was created in 2009, and included in the inaugural season of the National Crokinole Association. In that first year it was held in Toronto where Joe Fulop had his best ever NCA finish with a 3rd place, behind Marlin Lichti who also had his best NCA finish grabbing the 2nd spot. And it was Brian Cook who took the inaugural title two weeks before he won his 3rd straight World Championship.
The following year it was Justin Slater who began his breakout crokinole season, defeating Brian Cook in the 2010 final, held in Hamilton. Slater would go on to win the NCA finale and then take the World Championship 20s and singles titles.
2011 saw Brian Cook return to the winner's circle, defeating Joe Arnup, who also scored a career-high tournament finish on the day. And in 2012 Brian Cook would repeat as champion, finishing ahead of Ray and Jason Beierling, who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.
So as Brian Cook eyes his 3rd consecutive Golden Horseshoe title, here are a couple things to keep in mind.
- For 4 straight years, the Golden Horseshoe winner has finished in the top 3 at the World Championships.
- In 5 years of the NCA, only 2 tournaments have had winners "three-peat"
- Ray Beierling in London, Cook/F. Slater at the Ontario Doubles Championships
- Brian Cook is attempting to win his 4th consecutive tournament this season, doing so would NOT improve his NCA Tour points score
- Jon Conrad could clinch the NCA Tour title by winning in Hamilton. He could also clinch a tie for the NCA title by finishing 2nd in Hamilton
The 2013 Golden Horseshoe Crokinole Tournament, co-sponsored by the Hamilton Hammers, Tuscarora and Toronto Crokinole Clubs begins with 11am Registration at the Cornerstone Canadian Reformed Church in Hamilton.
We'll see you there!