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2019 Midwest Area Schedule

07/27: KC Open Pro (9WS)
07/28: KC Open Gold (9WS)
08/16: US GC Classic
08/17: US GC Classic
08/17: Shield Championship-Tulsa (GC)
08/19: Shield Championship-Tulsa (GC)

02/01: 2020 MCA Annual General Meeting

BOLD = MCA Tournaments

« 2017 Kansas City Open: Nine Wicket Series Returns to Kactus Creek Croquet Club | Main | Early Results: 2017 Missouri Open »

Last Turns Action Hero

Matt Smith in play at the 2017 Eagles' Landing Missouri Open


BELTON, MO -- After a day of battle at the 2017 Eagles' Landing Missouri Open, the MCA Pro Division title came down to a last turns run by Matt Smith as he claimed a tight 26-20 win over Matt Griffith on Saturday afternoon.

The event was held at Eagles's Landing Golf Course in Belton, Missouri and drew 17 of the MCA's best battling in Pro and Gold divisions half of the Gold players falling into a Silver Division playoff.


For the Pro action, Smith and Griffith buzzed through the competition with each of them pegging out all three of their respective games on the way to the final. The final started with an interesting attack opportunity for Griffith as Smith left Yellow on the east boundary near three. Griffith attacked red in corner 4 with black. He then came up a bit short with black on his split to yellow. He narrowly missed yellow on the boundary and Smith then took over the first break with yellow.

Smith set up a mid-court leave after going through 13PW. Griffith missed with blue shooting from the south and hit the 11PW to leave his ball on court. Smith then started around with red, but stuffed 6 and then interactivity ensued. Eventually, Griffith got black around through 9PW and blue through 10PW.

As the 60-minute window began to evaporate, Smith cleared yellow then took it through rover and played off partner to attack and fed black to red on the southern end while putting yellow at red's wicket #6. Blue hit yellow and attacked red and black just west of wickets 1 and 2. However, his takeoff to 11PW came up short and he ended up jawsing it.

Both players partnered up, but Griffith got the next move as he put blue through 11PW and attacked red and yellow on the north boundary to set up black for the win. The plan came apart though when the roquet of yellow was a bit too strong and yellow went out of bounds.

As the time ran out on blue, the score was 20-20 and yellow set the break for red. Interestingly, Griffith said Smith thought he was down by one point. Smith later said he thought he was down by four. Smith took the break and ran through 6, 7, the stake, 9PW, 10PW and 11PW as the crowd eagerly watched for the inevitable stuffed wicket. It never came and Smith spread the court to take his third MCA Pro title.

Smith took the title, but Griffith (253) did the real damage in the overall points race as he extended his overall advantage with a 102-point gap over second place Deborah Millican (151). Jason Johnson isn't far behind at 145 points in the race for second place after a good day that saw him get a pegout against Greg Clouse for a trip to the semifinals.

Ron Millican also had a good day as he won his block after taking down Lee's Summit winner Deborah Millican and the always dangerous Greg Clouse.

Steve Jackson


Steve Jackson went undefeated to take first place in the Gold Division for the second straight year, and three Millicans also received medals at the Midwest Croquet Association 2017 Missouri Open held at Eagles’ Landing Golf Course on July 8, 2017.


The combined Gold and Silver divisions were set up as two four-person blocks. Three morning games determined qualifiers for the Gold Division playoff. Players who did not make the Gold cut proceeded to the Silver Division knockout round.

In the Gold final, Steve Jackson had the upper hand for most of the game. Opponent Bryce Millican showed signs of fatigue and missed some of the challenging shots he had been making earlier in the day. Jackson’s black ball ran all the hoops and was a rover for the last 20 minutes. He proceeded to play enough defense to fend off Millican’s comeback.

Jackson prevailed in his three morning games to take the #1 seed and face #4 seed Justin Marciniak in a game that went to the wire. Tied at the beginning of last turns, Jackson’s blue ball was set up at the 14-point wicket. He scored both end wickets on one shot and took a two-point lead. Jackson then used his two bonus shots to go to the opposite end of the court to separate Marciniak’s red and yellow balls to spoil yellow’s chance of hitting the turning stake and running the nearby hoops.

Jackson missed out of bounds and left Marciniak an opening. But Marciniak made a couple fatal mistakes and ultimately failed to roll his yellow ball to a favorable angle on the one-back hoop.

In the other Gold semifinal, Millican defeated Ellie Griffith, who had scored 55 points, the most among all eight players, during morning block play. Millican peaked when necessary. Both players displayed their well-developed skills in an evenly matched game.

Brevin Millican (Photo by Gwyneth Bowen)


The Millican Academy of Croquet accounted for three of the four finalists between the Gold and Silver divisions. While cousin Bryce Millican went for Gold on court four, Brevin Millican and Cade Millican faced off in the Silver Division final on court three.


The matchup reprised Brevin and Cade’s meeting in the Bronze Division final at the 2016 Missouri Open, yet the 2017 game was closer.

Each player was comfortable with a slow-paced, but interactive match. Cade, especially, set the tempo by lining up his shots and making deliberate strategic decisions. He seemed to be in control in last turns. He took a one-point lead and attempted to spread the balls on the court. Brevin, however, made one of his trademark long roquets to stay alive and score the tying and winning hoops. His 11-10 win gave him the first-place medal.

To reach the final, Brevin stormed back from a winless morning to spoil Wanda Jackson’s bid to take home a Silver prize in a second consecutive tournament.

Likewise, in the other semifinal, Cade battled after a three-loss morning and beat Di Berg, competing in her first 2017 event, by a score of 10-6.


The MCA would like to thank Eagles' Landing and Jay Kennedy for the excellent condition of the "courts," which are actually tee boxes for the golf course driving range. Courts one and two were preserved from golf action for the season and were in the best condition we've seen for the Missouri Open. 

In addition, the set up crew of Ron, Deborah, Bryce, Brevin and Cade Millican did an outstanding job in the morning as full set up for all four courts and three tents was complete in under 45 minutes. Great job and thank you.


9WS 20: The Nine Wicket Series (9WS) launched in 2013 and is now plowing though season five. The third edition of the Missouri Open marked the 20th 9WS event. Dylan Goodwin, Deborah Millican and Ron Millican have played in all 20.  

SO CLOSE: Wanda Jackson again just missed qualifying for the Gold playoff due to an unfavorable tiebreaker. Her 2-1 record tied Bryce Millican and Justin Marciniak, but Millican and Marciniak won the tiebreaker with more wickets scored.

PEGOUT DAY: With three on the day, Matt Griffith pushed his record career total pegouts to 19 while Matt Smith moved to second on the list with eight by also collecting three pegouts. Griffith has his own season record of nine from 2015 in his sights as he currently has five for the year.

MILLICAN ACADEMY REMATCH: Brevin Millican and Cade Millican faced each other in a final round at the Missouri Open for the second consecutive year. Last year, they faced each other in the Bronze final. Brevin won in 2016 as well.

PRIZE PARITY: All four medalists in Gold and Silver received their first hardware of 2017.  

2017 DEBUTS: Five players — Greg Clouse, Matt Smith, Di Berg, Ellie Griffith and Bryce Millican — made their first 2017 tournament appearances.

OVERTIME: Di Berg and Brevin Millican’s morning game required two additional rotations after last turns.

TOO TIGHT: One of the wickets on court four was reset after one of Ellie Griffith’s balls was unable to clear it early in the morning. 

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