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2018 Midwest Area Schedule

01/27: 2018 MCA Annual General Meeting (East)
06/16: Shield: OKC Central Quad (GC)
06/17: Shield: OKC Central Quad (GC)
08/18: Shield Championship-Milwaukee (GC)
08/19: Shield Championship-Milwaukee (GC)
09/15: MCA 9WS Championship (9WS)
11/16: 2017 MCA Awards

2019
01/26: 2018 MCA Annual General Meeting (South)

BOLD = 9WS Tournaments

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« Gold Championship: Jackson's Revenge | Main | 2017 MCA Championship Finals Results »
Wednesday
Sep202017

Griffith Rules MCA Pro 9WS

Griffith during the championship final. Photo by Gwyneth Bowen. (Click to Zoom)

VILLAGE OF LOCH LLOYD, MO -- On the cusp of the 2017 USCA 9 Wicket Nationals, Matt Griffith is coming into perfect form as he battled his way through the eight player field this past Saturday at Loch Lloyd to claim his second MCA Pro Championship.

Of course, he entered the event with his third straight Croquet Network Pro 9W Series Championship title already in hand. But with the nature of the MCA Championship, he found himself with an old rival in round one as Greg Clouse came into the event as the eighth seed after missing a pair of regular season events. It was a tough round one matchup, but Griffith managed the game and won convincingly 26-7. He then hammered out a 25-15 win over deadness master Greg Adams to advance to the finals.

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In the other semifinal, I played Billy Bob Breeden in a game that could have finished relatively clean, but I stuffed hoop 10 on the second break and then the advantage shifted over to Breeden. As fate would have it, Breeden also stuffed hoop 10 in last turns to come up one wicket short of a tie. I advanced with a 23-22 win.

Pro Finalists. Photo by Gwyneth Bowen. (Click to Zoom)In the final against Griffith, I had the early advantage with a three-ball as Griffith still had a ball out of the game. Ironically, while playing Breeden on court two in the semifinal round, I had heard Adams and Griffith complaining about how tight hoop 6/10 was on court one. As I came to six, I made sure I got through ... about 14 feet through to be precise. The boundary was only 12 feet away so the game was on.

After a round, I was able to two ball and get out past 12 with my front ball, but Griffith made his attack on the next turn and controlled the game from there. And notably, I missed two deadness clears that factored in at the end when Griffith stuffed the middle hoop. To make a run at the end, I had to block my yellow target ball from Griffith with red as he was dead on red. The block didn't work and Griffith hit the 4.5 yard roquet to finish it off and claim a 26-15 MCA Championship win. Paired with his MCA Pro Championship in 2014, Griffith is the first player to win two MCA Pro Championships.

As mentioned prior, Griffith took his third straight Croquet Network Pro Series Championship and claimed the $250 prize check for first place in the 2017 Series. Breeden took second by just one point over me to claim a $125 check (if only that block had worked out). I took third and as the sponsor protected $75 of prize money while Deborah Millican edged Greg Adams for fourth and a $50 check. Adams fifth place finish was worth a $25 pay day.

Overall, the massive driving range tee box at the Country Club of Loch Lloyd provided the best playing surface the MCA 9WS has used outside of the six wicket courts at Kactus Creek in Parkville, Missouri and LaFortune Park in Tulsa, Oklahoma. There were two spots of rain that disturbed the prize ceremony for Gold and Silver, but otherwise, it was a fantastic day for croquet in a beautiful setting. The residents and golfers of Loch Lloyd showed tremendous interest in the event with many people stopping by to watch and ask questions.

I'd like to thank Justin Marciniak for help with set up on Friday and all of his promotional work in advance of the tournament. In addition, thank you to Ron Millican for working with me to get the appropriate equipment to the courts. And of course, thank you to Chris Brems and the Loch Lloyd staff for having the courts short and "nine wicket" fast as well as making sure golf carts were available for shuttling back and forth from the courts to the clubhouse.

2017 CROQUET NETWORK PRO SERIES FINAL STANDINGS

Player report by Dylan Goodwin

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