USCA Nationals
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 you like?"

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 concentration.

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 to get
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 finals.

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 croquet.

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 of 10.

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, Kentucky.

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 ball).

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
Championship Singles
1. Paul Scott
2. Danny Huneycutt
3. Ben Rothman
4. Jeff Soo
Rich Lamm
6. Paul Bennett
John Osborn
Steve Scalpone
9. Doug Grimsley
George Cochran
Johnny Mitchell
Bob Van Tassell
13. Ben Morehead
14. Jim Houser
Britt Ruby
16. Jim Butts
17. Rory Kelley
Mike Orgill
Jane Simonds
Frank Thompson
21. Eileen Soo
22. Ron Hendry
Rick Sheely
Rich Curtis
Patrick Sweeney
Steve Johnston
Arthur Bagby
28. Tommy Harrington
Bill Hamilton
30. Janet Hamilton

Championship Doubles
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
Chris Mondt
6. Jim Turner
Donna Dixon
Gary Bennett
9. Soup Campbell
Judy Dahlstrom
11. Harold Menzel
Mary Rodeberg
13. Sheri Foroughi
Bob Roth
15. Pam Johnston
Jake Johnson
17. Stephanie Paduano
Phyllis Butts

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
Danna Huneycutt
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