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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)

2020
02/01: 2020 MCA Annual General Meeting

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« Updated Pro Standings: Post 2019 KC Open | Main | KC Open Pro Report: Challenging Selection »
Sunday
Jul282019

KC Open Gold Report: Hard-Fought Title Game

The 2019 Kansas City Open wrapped up earlier today with tightly contested 16-15 Gold Championship Final with Ellie Griffith taking the title over Justin Marciniak. The event played out at Kactus Creek Croquet Club in Parkville, Missouri, it was Griffith's fifth straight appearance in a Gold Division title game where she has now won three out of five finals.

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The game was closely fought throughout with both players appearing to have game-controlling breaks lined out on a few occasions only to suffer unfortunate hoop rejections. Ultimately, the decisive moment occured with 1:21 left in the game with Griffith in corner 1 with her red ball set for a yellow rush toward the center of the court and holding a two-wicket lead. Marcinak had his blue ball for H12, dead on partner and sitting barely in the jaws. With black to play and for H4 (same hoop), he hit the partially open 3.5-yard roquet opportunity without moving blue much.

That's where things got interesting. With blue still in the hoop, he utilized the nine wicket option and placed K in scoring position about three inches from the hoop rather than in contact with blue. He then attempted the hoop, contacting U and not clearing the wicket. He then proceeded to play, but Griffith requested a stoppage and it took a couple of conferences to clarify the sequence. The final outcome was indeed a dead ball fault with the balls returning to position and end of turn.

Griffith used the rush to scatter the balls and sent black up near H6 and H7 to ideally wire Marciniak from the red ball near H12 and the hoop attempt. She then put yellow on the south boundary to avoid a wire. 

However, she didn't quite wire blue from the hoop shot and Marciniak made it interesting by scoring H12 from 11 yards in last turns. It just dribbled through though and he was wired on the nearby red ball. He missed a four-yard attempt on black that ended the heroics for the day.

The morning action for Gold featured a four-player block, where Griffith went 3-0. Marciniak, Bryce Millican and Jim Ratzlaff all went 1-2, but all players advanced to the semifinal. So, the challenging three-way tiebreaker was strictly for seeding purposes. In the semifinals, Griffith wore down Ratzlaff and took a 16-9 victory. Marciniak established early control in the other semifinal against Millican and never really left an opening as he cruised to a 26-10 win to advance to the final.  

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