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2022 USCA Selection Eights

Johnny Mitchell - TD | Published on 10/27/2022
USCA Selection Eights
October 27-30, 2022
National Croquet Center - West Palm Beach, FL

"The Selection Eights", the name itself has a certain importance in it. Yes it is one of the premier Association tournaments of the USCA but it is not like any other tournament in the normal sense. It is more of an endurance contest with croquet as its backdrop. Playing from dawn to dusk, and then some, is by all accounts a daunting task and congratulations have to go out to the 37 brave souls who managed to endure.

For those who may not know, the Selection Eights was designed as a tool for the USCA Selection Committee to see how our top players perform under the rigors of extended play in preparation of potential US Team consideration. The first eight features our top players and they did not disappoint. All eyes were on Matthew Essick who had just recently became the GC World Champion and preparing to head out to Australia as a US team member for the MacRobertson Shield. Other MacRob teammates in attendance were Zack Watson, Tom Balding, Jeff Soo, and Stephen Morgan. Matthew did win the top eight with an impressive 11-3 record.

The Second Eight also saw many exciting games from those players striving to advance to the top eight in upcoming years. Long time player Doug Grimsley dominated as expected followed closely by up and coming Kyle Maloof, son of former US team member David Maloof.

The Third Eight was won by former US team member and recent Hall of Fame inductee Jim Bast who won 10 of his 14 games. He was however challenged by David Ekstrom who was one of the oldest players and deserves kudos for making it through this marathon event with an impressive 9-5 record.

The Fourth Group was interesting because there were a small number of players who normally would be in a Fifth eight but the numbers were lacking so the two were combined into a large 13 player group. This group was clearly crushed by Paul Neubecker who was the only player who went undefeated in the event with a 12-0 record. Expect to see him possibly move up to the third group next year.

In the end it was a successful yet tiring event with games running into darkness and lights having to be turned on to finish. No games had to be pegged down and everyone appears to have survived with the exception of Dick Sullivan who have to withdraw due to some physical issues. It's nice to have this on in the books as all the players look forward to next year's event.

Johnny Mitchell - TD

First Eight
1. Matthew Essick
2. Tom Balding
2. Stephen Morgan
4. Zack Watson
4. Stuart Lawrence
6. Jeff Soo
7. Brian Cumming
8. Sherif Abdelwahab

Second Eight
1. Doug Grimsley
2. Kyle Maloof
3. Shane Hettler
4. Randy Cardo
5. Dan Pailas
6. Chris Barley
7. Steve Scalpone
8. Peter Bach

Third Eight

1. Jim Bast
2. David Ekstrom
3. Gene Raymond
4. Tom Cooper
4. Michael Todorovich
6. David Druitt
7. Ron Eccles
DNF Dick Sullivan

Fourth Group
1. Paul Neubecker
2. Jay Hughes
3. Lynda Sudderberg
4. Dawn Jupin
4. Brian Hovis
6. Merle Berkshire
6. Sandra Knuth
6. Jeff Morrison
9. Arlene Parker
10. Randy Reid
11. Loretta Cooper
11. Stuart Price
13. Christine Smith