November 8-14, 2009
Mission Hills Croquet Club
Rancho Mirage, CA
Prior to the doubles finals match, the players assemble for the
attention of the press.
In doubles, Ben Rothman consults with his partner Rich Lamm
regarding the all important questions
"how far do we go? shall I go to the peg? what kind of leave would
While in the other corner, the opponents patiently wait. Rich
Curtis stands by his ball which he placed exactly into corner 1 and
Doug Grimsley awaits his moment to pounce upon a lapse of
Doug Grimsley gets the chance he needs and goes all around with
yellow while pegging out blue (Ben Rothman) after becoming
a rover ball.
At the critical moment, after Grimsley pegs out opponent and Curtis
brings his ball up to hoop2, Lamm has a long shot
at a double target with black. Johnny Osborn is ready to watch
the shot that Lamm will take to get back into the game.
After this miss, Curtis avoids dangerous situations like this and
inches his way around the court with red while black
seems powerless to cause any further harm.
Rich Curtis and Doug Grimsley win the USCA National Doubles
Championship for their third time.
Paul Scott manages brilliant stroke play and ball management.
He is lining up a spot which will leave his opponent little chance
back into the game.
Paul Scott putting things right against Danny Huneycutt. Dick
and Jane Tucker look on and enjoy the flawless execution in the
In ladder play, Paul Scott defeated Jim Houser, Steve Scalpone, Jeff
Soo, Rich Lamm, Ben Rothman and Danny Huneycutt.
Paul Scott congratulated by fellow players after winning his third
USCA National Singles event.
Justin Berbig lines up a shot using the Solomon grip. Justin
won the 2nd flight singles defeating Danna Huneycutt, Toni Kemp,
Karen Comeau (twice), and then Eric Sawyer (previously undefeated in
the playoff ladder) in the best-of-one final game.
Justin Berbig shoots using the Solomon grip. Justin won the
2nd flight singles defeating Danna Huneycutt, Toni Kemp, Karen
Comeau (twice), and then Eric Sawyer (previously undefeated in the
playoff ladder) in the best-of-one final game.
Micah Beck accepting one of his two trophies from Gene Young, the
USCA president. Micah won both the 1st flight singles and
doubles (partner Justin Berbig). Recently out of college after
serving 4 years in Iraq, Micah is playing more croquet and
is a force to reckon with on the court. His military training
and study of literature somehow seem appropriate to our love of
Eileen Soo was a great helper and efficient manager. She
played in the championship flight and ended
up only a few points behind Jane Simonds, the winner of the Peyton
Ballinger award for best female record.
The competition was chocked full of past and future to be National
champions. Britt Ruby marks in his yellow
stripe ball into the 2nd corner on court 3 of 10.
Steve Johnston was here. Here is proof.
Pam Johnston intensely watching a game with Chris Mondt on court 8
Gary Bennett is attacking in a singles game he lost to Sheri
Foroughi. Sheri was then called
the giant killer. Gary is a new USCA member from Louisville,
Marty Ormsby, a MHCC member, is double banking with Gary
Bennett. Marty and Gary have played together in
Louisville Kentucky at Ben Birkhead's court.
Marty Ormsby's unique roquet technique involves setting down the
mallet, walking up to the ball and mallet and roqueting the ball
downfield. Marty is a player from Louisville Kentucky and a
resident at Mission Hills during the winter.
Jim Butts, the MHCC president, lines up a peel to clear the deadness
on his partner ball by driving it through its wicket while red makes
progress around the court. Blue is standing by for red as an
'escape ball' so as to give it a ball to hit after striking yellow
through its wicket.
Johnny Osborn takes croquet by placing his ball in contact with red,
the roqueted ball. Spectators watch on - Houser seems intent
upon a book, Lamm relaxes with mallet nearby, Soo relaxes after
starting his 100th game of the day, Paul Scott seems to be texting,
and Marty Foroughi intently watches the championship players.
In the doubles final of first flight, Rich Schiller hits red into
black while Jeff Soo referees to make sure it hits properly.
The ball must hit the other ball and Jeff is watching to make sure
that the hoop doesn't cause the ball to move instead. Rich
Schiller's partner Jake Johnson watches on in the background while;
Justin Berbig and Micah Beck watch on after missing hoop 3.
Justin and Micah end up winning (blue is on the peg and is a rover
The "peg-in-one-stroke" was played Wednesday afternoon. The
sun went down making it an extra challenge to the players.
The championship players (minus handicaps) had to shoot across three
lawns going up a 2 foot hill to stike the peg on court #1. The
judges wait and measure the closest attempts. Ellery McClatchy
gave away a croquet vacation trip to his Ink Grade estate in Napa
Valley. Marilyn O'Neil organized the fund raising for the USCA
with this event and a silent auction which was held Thursday night.
2009 USCA National
Championships, Am Rules (7-Nov -- 14-Nov)
Results, Order of Finish -- Jeff Soo
1. Paul Scott
2. Danny Huneycutt
3. Ben Rothman
4. Jeff Soo
6. Paul Bennett
9. Doug Grimsley
Bob Van Tassell
13. Ben Morehead
14. Jim Houser
16. Jim Butts
17. Rory Kelley
21. Eileen Soo
22. Ron Hendry
28. Tommy Harrington
30. Janet Hamilton
1. Rich Curtis & Doug Grimsley
2. Rich Lamm & Ben Rothman
3. Johnny Mitchell & Ben Morehead
Danny Huneycutt & John Osborn
5. Jim Houser & Britt Ruby
Steve Johnston & Rory Kelley
7. Jim Butts & Ron Hendry
Gary Bennett & Paul Bennett
9. Paul Scott & Jeff Soo
George Cochran & Rick Sheely
Mike Orgill & Bob Van Tassell
12. Steve Scalpone & Patrick Sweeney
Eileen Soo & Frank Thompson
14. Tommy Harrington & Harold Menzel
First Flight Singles
1. Micah Beck
2. Rich Schiller
3. Marty Ormsby
4. Len Lyon
6. Jim Turner
9. Soup Campbell
11. Harold Menzel
13. Sheri Foroughi
15. Pam Johnston
17. Stephanie Paduano
First Flight Doubles
1. Micah Beck & Justin Berbig
2. Jake Johnson & Rich Schiller
3. Soup Campbell & Bob Roth
Donna Dixon & Marty Ormsby
5. Dick Engebretson & Marvin Salles
6. Chris Mondt & Jim Turner
7. Judy Dahlstrom & Bob Kays
8. Stephanie Paduano & Pam Johnston
Phyllis Butts & Mary Rodeberg
Second Flight Singles
1. Justin Berbig
2. Eric Sawyer
3. Karen Comeau
5. Marvin Salles
6. Toni Kemp
Second Flight Doubles
1. Karen Comeau & Toni Kemp
2. Jean Engebretson & Danna Huneycutt
last updated 27 November 2009 ptb