2017 KC Open: Griffith Clinches Pro 9WS
Tuesday, August 1, 2017 at 7:58AM
MCA Website Admin in Billy Bob Breeden, Dylan Goodwin, Greg Adams, Jodi Adams, Kactus Creek Croquet Club, Kansas City Open, MCA Nine Wicket Series, Matt Griffith, Ron Millican

Pro finalists Matt Griffith (L) and Billy Bob Breeden (R)

PARKVILLE, MO -- With the dust settling on a big weekend of action at the Kansas City Open held at the Kactus Creek Croquet Club in Parkville, Missouri, the numbers all add up to a three-peat for Matt Griffith in the MCA Nine Wicket Series as he now leads the overall race by more than the 96 points that will be available at the MCA Championship in September.


Griffith entered the KC Open with a strong lead and immediately extended that advantage with a couple of pegouts in block play taking down Ron Millican 32-7 and Jodi Adams 32-11. That pushed his career record of pegout wins to 21 and with seven so far in 2017, he has a shot at breaking his own record on nine se in 2015.

He did get slowed down a bit in the knockout round as he took a 23-16 semifinals win over Dylan Goodwin where he advanced to face Billy Bob Breeden. Breeden also had a strong morning with a 25-6 win over Deborah Millican, then his own pegout as he took down Greg Adams 32-8.

Interestingly, Adams then went into giant-killing mode as he took out Greg Clouse 16-14 in the first round of the knockout then pushed Breeden to the limit in the semifinal. With one hoop to win in last turns, Adams just missed a short roquet near 15PW (rover) that would have given a short setup shot for the needed win. It wasn't meant to be and Breeden finished with a 24-22 win to advance.

The final between Griffith and Breeden provided a lot of interactivity. Griffith had the first break, but Breeden later provided a highlight moment on his break when he scored #6 and #7 in one shot, then scored #9 and #10 in the same shot on the way out. Despite all that, the game stayed tight and with time running out, Breeden roqueted yellow with his blue ball near the turn but the yellow rolled just across the line. Griffith was able to pick up blue and score #6 with red with a takeoff. He then jaws #7 and ended the turn with the game tied at 17-17. Breeden was wired on #15 by the #14 wicket with black. He tried to go for a carom score on 15 but the black ball just dribbled through #14.

Griffith then got a great rush with yellow on longish set up on blue to #12. He scored to go up 18-17, then returned to peel red through #7 for a 19-17 lead. He then went to corner #1 and Breeden was left with a 22-yard touch roquet on that yellow corner ball with blue. He just missed and Griffith took the win.

The Gold Division played on Sunday with 10 players as Steve Jackson won the KOM Swiss format as he won five straight games and extended his advantage in the Gold Division points race. More details on the Gold Division in yesterday's report.


Article originally appeared on Midwest Croquet Association (https://missouricroquet.squarespace.com/).
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