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News / Articles

USCA Golf Croquet National Championship

Macey White & Wayne Maloney  | Published on 9/7/2021

“Young Guns” Dominate U.S. Croquet Association National Championship

22-year old Matthew Essick From Florida outlasts 14-year old Blake Fields From California to Win Golf Croquet National Singles Championship

By Macey White and Wayne Maloney

HARTFIELD, VA., Sept. 6, 2021—The new, young faces of croquet faced off Sunday in the final of the 2021 Golf Croquet National Championship at the Chesapeake Bay Croquet Club (CBCC) in Hartfield, Virginia.  Taking a two games out of three final to log his first ever national golf croquet championship was 22-year old Matthew Essick of Daytona, Florida.  He defeated 14-year old Blake Fields, the top junior player in the U.S.  Fields is from Palm Springs, California.

The field of competitors was the best that the USCA has ever had in a national tournament. All the old-time big guns were there.  Sherif, Danny, Jeff, Rich, Mohammad, Ahab, and the list goes on.  These great players are so well known, we don’t even have to mention their last names.  But when the dust settled, there were three new names in the top four in singles, Matthew Essick, Blake Fields and Kyle Maloof.  On Saturday, Fields defeated defending champion Sherif Abdelwahab from West Palm Beach, Florida, to earn a spot in the singles final.  Essick’s victory capped a five-day tournament that attracted a field of 58 players, including almost all of the top-ranked players in America.
 

 “It was a great, well-contested match,” said Essick. “Two young guys, just getting started. Today was a display of top-level croquet.”  Essick said that Fields came out “Red hot” in the first game, and went on to win that contest, while Essick took the final two.  “Blake is unbelievable. He has the best clearing shot in the U.S. and is a powerful opponent.”
   

 Tournament Director, Macey White, said that the fact that two young competitors living thousands of miles apart wound up competing for the title shows the growing popularity of croquet as a sport.  “We had competitors from across the country, the east coast always sends a strong contingent and this year we had strong players from NC, VA, SC, GA, RI, NY, DE, PA and FL and in addition, we got the best players from California and the top US female athlete from Wisconsin as well.  Americans from all walks of life are enjoying this exciting and growing sport, which has long enjoyed an international reputation.

Fields & Essick
Young guns of croquet Blake Fields of CA and Matthew Essick of FL
ham it up after playing in the 2021 Golf Croquet National Championship
Finals this past week at Chesapeake Bay.


Results of the tournament:
 

Singles National Champion – Matthew Essick, Florida

Singles Runner Up – Blake Fields, California

 

Doubles National Champion – Mohammad Kamal, California & Blake Fields, California

Singles Runner Up – Danny Huneycutt, North Carolina & Tom Balding

 

1st Flight Singles

Winner – Sean Miller

Runner Up – Bo Prillaman

 

1st Flight Doubles

Winner – Bryan Christianson and James Podraza

Runner Up – Bo Prillaman, Richmond, Va.  & Stephen Jackson

  

Championship Flight (Plate)

Winner – Jimmy Huff

Runner Up – Damon Bidencope

 

1st Flight (Plate)

Winner – Bryan Christianson

Runner Up – Ryan Eberlein

 

Complete Final Tally

 

Championship Singles

1. Matthew Essick

2. Blake Fields

3. Sherif Abdelwahab

3. Kyle Maloof

5. Jeff Soo

5. Ahab Dincer

5. Amr Hamdy

5. Zack Watson

9. Danny Huneycutt

9. David Maloof

9. Mohammad Kamal

9. Macey White

9. Thomas Balding

9. Jim Teel

9. Kent Lovvorn

9. Rich Dell

17. Jimmy Huff

18. Damon Bidencope

19. Ed Becker

19. Jay Hughes

21. Matthew Griffith

21. Shane Hettler

21. Steve Jackson

24. Rick Darnell

24. Cheryl Bromley

24. Helen Covington

24. Billy Harper

24. Timothy Hasty

29. Rich Lamm

29. Michael Albert

29. Thomas Cooper

29. Justin Fields

 

First Flight Singles

1. Sean Miller

2. Bo Prillaman

3. Ellie Griffith

3. Marcus Stearns

5. Steve Thurston

5. James Creasey

5. James Podraza

5. Cynthia Shepherd

9. Gil Flowers

9. Bill Simmons

9. Diane Walker

9. Tate Russack

9. Kory Teoman

9. Priscilla Flowers

9. John Walker

9. Cami Russack

17. Bryan Christiansen

18. Ryan Eberlein

19. Douglas Murphy

19. Karen Karel

21. Betty Teoman

21. Joseph Fleming

21. Tom Bown

21. Stephen Shultz

25. Pedro Rivera

25. Lisa Maloney

 

Championship Doubles

1. Mohammad Kamal & Blake Fields

2. Danny Huneycutt & Tom Balding

3. Sherif Abdelwahab & Ahab Dincer

3. Matthew Essick & Jim Teel

5. Jeff Soo & Rich Lamm

5. David Maloof & Kyle Maloof

5. Macey White & Amr Hamdy

5. Zack Watson & Shane Hettler

9. Ed Becker & Rick Darnell

9. Damon Bidencope & Gil Flowers

9. Jimmy Huff & Kent Lovvorn

9. Jay Hughes & Thomas Cooper

9. Matthew Griffith & Justin Fields

9. Michael Albert & James Creasey

9. Billy Harper & Rich Dell

9. Cheryl Bromley & Stephen Thurston

 

First Flight Doubles

1. James Podraza & Bryan Christiansen

2. Stephen Jackson & Bo Prillaman

3. Ellie Griffith & Priscilla Flowers

3. Helen Covington & Bill Simmons

5. Thomas Bown & Marc Stearns

5. Kory Teoman & Betty Teoman

5. Tate Russack & Cami Russack

5. Timothy Hasty & Cindy Shepard

9. Pedro Rivera & Lisa Maloney

9. Sean Miller & Ryan Eberlein