After nine consecutive near-misses, the Racquet & Tennis Club wins the 2006 Payne Whitney Intercity Doubles Tournament.

What a difference a coach makes.  Over the last couple of years, New York has had the strongest team on paper, but has somehow managed to fall short of winning the Whitney Cup.  This year, the #2 ranked US amateur Alexis Hombrecher and #3 Lex Miron were joined by #1 Nicolas Victoir, while charging coach and head R&TC professional Mike Gooding with the task of harnessing all of the top talent in the US amateur game into a winning team.  With the nations’ best three amateurs and under the magnificent teaching of professional and world #4 Mike Gooding, New York played to their potential as the weekend’s results were never really in doubt.

Many participants call the Whitney Cup the greatest event in all of sport.  The history, the format, the game, the venue, the sportsmanship, and quality of the field all contribute to the majesty of the event.  This year’s field (six clubs with five doubles pairs each) was extremely strong with 43 of the best 60 amateurs in the country and 54 players with handicaps under 25 participating.  This was also the first year that Greentree joined up with the Whitney family’s other enclave in Aiken, SC to great success as Greentree-Aiken reversed their 0-10 record from 2005 to a 12-3 record in 2006.

Results from the two round robin groups:

Group A

Greentree-Aiken defeated Philadelphia 5-0

Philadelphia defeated Tuxedo 4-1

Greentree/Aiken defeated Tuxedo 5-0

Group B

New York defeated New England 4-1

New York defeated Washington 4-1

Washington defeated New England 3-2

New York and Greentree-Aiken advanced to Sunday’s final.  New York was dominant in three matches, losing only nine games in the three matches they won.  Greentree-Aiken was able to win the senior match and the #2 match between Peter Pell and Addison West (GTA) vs. Alexis Hombrecher and a severely cramping Chris Arriz (NY).

2006 Whitney Cup Final New York vs. Greentree-Aiken:

#1        Victoir & Devereux (NY) def. Aldrich & Hay 6-1, 6-0

#2        Pell & West (GTA) def. Hombrecher & Arriz (NY) 6-5, 3-6 5-6

#3        Miron & Ardrey (NY) def. Johnstone & Sauerborn (GTA) 6-0, 6-3

#4        Manson & Smithie (NY) def. Sheppard & Stoker (GTA) 6-1, 6-4

Senior  Cline & Preston (GTA) def. Abernethy & Flinn (NY) 3-6, 6-2, 6-4

There were 35 Whitney Cup matches played.  All of which fell to handicap form with the exception of seven upsets:

All were delighted to see Jack Hickey at the Friday night dinner and were grateful to Mike Gooding, Andrew Fowler, Rich Smith, James Stout, James Challice, Bob Gressler, and the staff of the Racquet & Tennis club for hosting, administering, and marking a spectacular event.

Now, it’s back to the drawing board for the other five clubs as they strategize how to combat a New York team stocked with all of the nation’s top amateur talent.