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2023 Women's GC Open

Cheryl Bromley - TD | Published on 1/19/2023

Cardo Emerges as Golf Croquet
Women’s Champion
Bev Cheryl Ellen
Above: Championship Flight Winner Bev Cardo, Tournament Director
Cheryl Bromley, and Finalist Ellen Nielsen

The largest Women’s Croquet tournament ever held in the U.S. took place at the National Croquet Center in West Palm Beach, Florida Jan 19-22, 2023. The Women’s 2nd Annual Golf Croquet Open was hosted by the National Croquet Club and featured 60 female players from around the country.

The first morning of the event started with a Waterford Doubles Mixer where players were paired with a different partner each round and tracked the number of hoops scored. It was a nice opportunity to get to know one another and shake off some of the jitters. After a shoot-out to the center post to determine the fourth position, the top four players received beautiful hand-turned wooden bowls. See results below.

Lots of smiles, great camaraderie, new friendships, and encouragement
of fellow players was on hand throughout the weekend.

Marc MaryCarol Stearns
Tournament Referee Marc Stearns with Waterford
Winner MaryCarol Stearns

Waterford Doubles Winners

First Place: MaryCarol Stearns
2nd Place: Kathie Gamble
3rd Place: Cami Russack
4th Place: Karen Connery-Albert
Lois Clay Cami
Lois Clay with Cami Russack

OK Wesleyan Players          Ladies Dinner  
It was a beautiful Florida evening for the players Dinner held on Friday night after two days of block play. Above left: Oklahoma Wesleyan University
College players: Alix Worley, Vanesa Fernandez. Cori Campbell. Player Manager Dalene Fisher with Jane Grandusky and Jane Loise Smith.
Above Right: Nancy Sansalone, Sheila Peterson, Mary Churchill, Gay Cinque, Vicky Narnajo, Lois Clay, and Trudy Crowetz

Championship Flight Summary: Playing in only her second Golf Croquet sanctioned tournament, Bev Cardo transferred her years of croquet experience in 6-wicket and applied her polished skills and solid hoop shooting to methodically take out one opponent at a time. She went undefeated in block play with a solid record of 7-0 and, after dropping the first game in the semi-finals against Cheryl Bromley, proceeded to win the next two to face off against Ellen Nielsen in the Finals. Ellen was having quite a tournament herself, placing first in her block by dropping only one game. In the Knockout, she maintained a high level of play and focus and, after a great battle in the semi-finals against her formidable opponent Debbie Davidoff, reached the finals.

In the Final, Nielsen got off to a fast start and took the first game 7-3 before Cardo settled back in to take the next two games and the match 7-4, 7-4.

First Flight Summary: With three blocks of eight players vying for a spot in the Round of 16 Knockout, top block performers, Ellen O’Brien 6-1, Lorie Tarver 5-2, and Amy Hempt 5-2 made it through into the semifinals. It was Vanesa Fernandez from OKWU who landed in 5th position in her block with a record of 3-4 who was fortunate to find her game and rhythm in the early rounds of the knockout to reach the semis and take out O’Brien 10-4. Tarver moved past Hempt with a close 10-9 win in the semis to also reach the Final. These players opted to play 19-pt games (first to 10 pts.) rather than 2-of-3 game matches as many had long drives and travels ahead of them. In the Final, it was Fernandez who was able to get past Tarver with a 10-4 victory to capture her very first singles tournament title.

Second Flight Summary:
This flight was set up to include nearly all of the players who had not yet played in a sanctioned Golf Croquet tournament and therefore might not have an established Dgrade (dynamic grade used for ranking purposes) or a starting GC handicap. For some players, it was an opportunity to learn the subtleties of the GC rules and gain experience in GC. This flight featured two blocks of 6 players with Karen Heckman 4-1 and Vickie Johnston 5-0 leading the way landing in the top spots in their respective blocks. Heckman came up against OKWU’s Cori Campbell in the semis who had just taken out her teammate Alix Worley in the quarterfinals. It was a close battle in the semis with Campbell advancing to the finals with a 7-6 win at the “hook” (i.e., the 13th hoop)!

Vickie Johnston, who is a very good 6-wicket player, had never played in a sanctioned GC tournament prior to this. She navigated her way beautifully through the knockout disposing of anyone who got in her way. Johnston ended up not dropping a game the entire tournament and took out Campbell in the Final to capture her singles title undefeated.

As is the tournament process, anyone who previously did not have a GC dgrade will now have one established on the World Croquet Federation ranking site to be used going forward. All game results may be found on

Huge Debt of Gratitude to Tom Lindley and Trudy Crowetz, Tournament Managers; Tom Hennelly – Scores and Tournament Support; Marc Stearns – Tournament Referee, who made it possible for the other women referees to focus on playing in the event. Thank you all!

Mark Your Calendars!
The next upcoming Women’s GC Tournament will be,
The Women’s International Friendship Cup
October 12 – 15, 2023
Chesapeake Bay Club in Hartfield, VA.


Championship Singles
1. Bev Cardo
2. Ellen Nielsen
3. Debbie Davidoff
3. Cheryl Bromley
5. Priscilla Flowers
6. Laura Hendrick
7. Lynda Bjorklund
8. Jodie Rugart
9. Anne Killilea
10. Cami Russack
11. Lois Clay
11. Vicky Naranjo
13. Suzanne Spradling
13. Pam Groh
13. Suzanne Turner
13. Ellie Griffith
17. Lisa Maloney
18. Caryl Firth
19. Kathie Gamble
20. Karen Connery-Albert
21. Jeannie Branthover
22. Mary Galasso
23. Barbara Jamison
23. Lynn Epstein

First Flight Singles

1. Vanesa Fernandez
2. Lorie Tarver
3. Amy Hempt
4. Ellen O'Brien
5. MaryCarol Stearns
6. Trudy Crowetz
7. Karen Weihs
7. Kathleen Brown
9. Mary Hennelly
10. Jan Spoerl
11. Gay Cinque
11. Diana Robinson
13. Mary Ellen Gumerson
13. Mary Churchill
13. Candra Seley
16. Marianne Davidson
17. Sarah Persons
18. Tina Day
19. Patricia Richmond
20. Shelly Laird
21. Linda Carpenter
22. Sheila Peterson
23. Carla Tourtellotte
24. Pamela Wilson

Second Flight Singles
1. Vickie Johnston
2. Cori Campbell
3. Karen Heckman
4. Barbara O'Laughlin
5. Alix Worley
6. Jane Louise Smith
7. Cathy Long
7. Lynn Foley
9. Nancy Sansalone
10. Betsy Berry
11. Jan Loftis
11. Jane Grandusky