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2021 Sarasota Holiday Invitational

Webster Bull | Published on 12/10/2021

Sarasota Holiday Invitational
December 10-12, 2021
Sarasota County Croquet Club


Grand Theft Croquet

At the Holiday Invitational Tournament on the Venice lawns of the Sarasota County Croquet Club (SCCC), December 10–12, only Matt Griffith and Brett Stovall stood between the Grand Haven Croquet Club and the heavily laden trophy table.

Of the 40 players entered in the US rules singles tournament, eleven carpooled across the peninsula from Grand Haven in Palm Coast, and three days later they returned with six of the eight awards on offer. That is, more than half of the Grand Haven entrants lugged a trophy home. If that isn’t grand theft, tell us what is.

Playing in championship A and representing SCCC, Matt Griffith outlasted Brett Stovall of Jekyll Island, 13-10, in a tight final. To get there, Matt eked out a tough 11-9 semifinal victory over Vickie Johnston (NCC), one of the nice surprises of the tournament. Playing at a handicap of 2.5 against a field that included three minus-2s, Vickie won more tracking points (18) than all but three others.

Brett Stovall meanwhile gained the championship A finals with a victory in the semis over a likely nominee for USCA player of the year, David Ekstrom (NCC/Lenox), 17-9.

Below championship A, it was all Grand Haven, all the time. In championship B, Nancy Crouch (GH) beat Robert Brightman (GH) in the final, 16-13. To get there, Crouch beat her pal Mijai Pagano (GH), and Brightman triumphed over Brian Zindel of Jekyll Island.

In first flight, Marsha Cargill (GH) outpointed Bill Todd (GH), 11-10. In first flight semis, Cargill beat George Claffey (Lenox) and Todd topped George Quallich (SCCC). Not the best weekend for the Georges, but did we hear someone say, Hurray for the ladies? Two of the four flights were won by women.

In second flight, Gary Gamble (GH) topped Jim Hester (GH), 12-8. To which anyone not from Palm Coast, might reasonably mutter, arGH.

Must be a nice club over there in Palm Coast. Sure has good players.

—Webster Bull, TD

Brett Stovall Matt Griffith
               Brett Stovall & Matt Griffith

Robert Brightman Nancy Crouch
       Robert Brightman & Nancy Crouch

Marsha Cargill Bill Todd
               Marsha Cargill & Bill Todd

Jim Hester Gary Gamble

          Jim Hester & Gary Gamble

Championship A

1. Matt Griffith

2. Brett Stovall

3. Vickie Johnston

3. David Ekstrom

5. Chris Barley

6. Jim Coling

7. Gene Raymond

8. Oakley Johnson


Championship B

1. Nancy Crouch

2. Robert Brightman

3. Mijai Pagano

3. Brian Zindel

5. Bob Gelineau

6. John Joseph

7. Roger Vorraber

8. Mark Claff

9. Jim Waltrous

10. Ellie Griffith

11. Christine Smith

12. Diane Walker


First Flight

1. Marsha Cargill

2. Bill Todd

3. George Quallich

3. George Claffey

5. Jennifer Joseph

6. Chris Weihs

7. Ellen Goldener

8. Jeanette Hodgkins

9. Connie Coling

10. Jim McLaughlin


Second Flight

1. Gary Gamble

2. Jim Hester

3. Margaret Matuszak

4. John Welch

5. Kathie Gamble

6. Mark Klein

7. Steven Zoric

8. Karen Weihs

9. Les Taufen
10. Mary Ann Taufen