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  Ruby wins USCA American Rules Nationals, Osborn takes unbeatable lead in Grand Prix
Reported by Mike Weimerskirch, tournament director
edited by Bob Alman
Posted November 04, 1997

Mik Mehas of Southern California has now won the national doubles title twice, with two different partners - Wayne Rodoni and John Osborn. When he won the International Rules National Championship in September, it was beginning to looked like a Mehas year. But John Osborn, with his second-place finish behind Texan Britt Ruby in the American Rules Nationals, proved that he is still the winningest player in the 20-year history of organized croquet in America. As measured by our New American Grand Prix, he has already put all his rivals in the shade. There is only one of 16 events remaining in the Grand Prix - the U.S. Open in Southern California in December - and even if Mehas won it, he would still be 50 Grand Prix points shy of Osborn's tally.

Below are complete results of the USCA American Rules National Championship, played October 19-25, 1997, in Palm Beach, Florida, and environs. Following the Nationals results are updated top-eight scores for all the 1997 Grand Prix events to date.

Championship Singles Final Results
1.   Britt Ruby
2.   Johnny Osborn
3.   Bill Berne
     John Phaneuf
5.   Leo McBride
     Mik Mehas
7.   Doug Grimsley
     Carl Larkin
9.   John Curington
     Neil Houghton
     Dan Mahoney
     Bill Mead
13.  Rich Curtis
     Jim Hughes
     Steve Johnston
     Mike Zuro
17.  Paul Bennett
     Brian Cumming
     Phil Fusz
     Tom Hughes
     Ron Lloyd
     Greg Shaffer
     Rick Sheely
     Carl Uhlman
25.  Joe Koenig
     Johnny Mitchell
27.  Digby Bridges
     Bob Cherry
     John Dill
     Fred Jones
     Jackie Jones
     Keith Jones
     Dwight Mayer
     Paula Phaneuf
     Ken Scoggins
     Larry Stettner
     Travis Watson
     Alan Wolman
     John Young
40.  Dick Brackett
     Bubbie Grimsley
     Bill Hoy
     Jim Nicklasson
44.  Bille Jean Berne
     Matt Griffith
     Oreste Passarelli
     Derrick Robinson
     Jim Spoonhour
     Terri Spoonhour
     Dave Welden
51.  Erland Nelson

First Flight Singles Final Results

1.   Ted Knopf
2.   George Funk
3.   Garnett Turner
4.   Andy Kozusko
5.   Jeff Caldwell   
     Nelga Young
7.   John Scott
     Chalmers Yeilding
9.   Joe Brown
     Casey Knoll
Second Flight Singles Final Results
1.   Ray Cope
2.   Freeman Turley
3.   Ted Cooley
4.   Brian Gould
5.   George Fulmer
     Thomas Krause
7.   Bobbie Brown
     Missy Ramey
9.   Allen Dickerman
     Gordon Smale
11.  Lou Fusz
12.  Robert Lankford
     Art Parcells
     Margo Stinson
15.  Carol Cherry
     Ray Stoy
     Alice Welden
18.  Hedy Stoy
19.  Marti Richardson
Third Flight Singles Final Results
1.      Gary Weltner
2.      Al Dilley
3.      Ross Little
4.      Marilyn Jacobson
5.      Sandy Bent
        Herb Diamond
7.      Stan Kend
        Norman Standish
9.      Barbara Weltner
10.     Ginny Amsler
        June Jackson
12.     Diane Strochota
Championship Flight Doubles Final Results
1)  John Osborn - Mik Mehas
2)  Dan Mahoney - Bob Cherry
3)  Doug and Bubbie Grimsley
    Steve Johnston - Alan Wolman
5)  Carl Mabee - John Phaneuf
    Leo McBride - Brian Cumming
7)  Jim Hughes - Bob Kroeger
    Rich Curtis - Greg Shaffer
9)  Fred Jones - John Curington
    Bill Mead - Ken Scoggins
11) Rick Sheely - Phil Fusz
    Dwight Mayer - Oreste Passarelli
    Tom Hughes - John Young
    Joe Koenig - Larry Stettner
    Bill and Billie Jean Berne
    Erland Nelson - Britt Ruby
    Carl Larkin - Paula Phaneuf
    Jackie Jones - Carl Uhlman
19) Dick Brackett - Neil Houghton
    Digby Bridges - Keith Jones
    Derrick Robinson - Jim Nicklasson
    Joy Waters - Dave Welden
    Matt Griffith - Ron Lloyd
24) Paul Bennett - Jim Spoonhour
    John Dill - Johnny Mitchell
First Flight Doubles Final Results
1)  Nelga Young - Andy Kozusko
2)  Bill Luke - Ted Knopf
3)  Terri Spoonhour - Chalmers Yeilding
4)  Travis Watson - Garnett Turner
5)  Jack Scott - Jeff Caldwell
6)  Joe Brown - Casey Knoll
Second Flight Doubles Final Results
1)  Lou Fusz - Missy Ramey
2)  Art Parsells - Freeman Turley
3)  George Fulmer - Ted Cooley
4)  Brian Gould - Don Peterson
5)  Bobbie Brown - Robert Lankford
    Carol Cherry - Alice Welden
7)  Ray and Hedy Stoy
8)  Allen Dickerman - Tom Krause
    Gordon Smale - Ray Cope
Third Flight Doubles Final Results
1)  Gary and Barbara Weltner
2)  Al Dilley - Stan Kend
3)  Norm Standish - Sandy Brent
4)  Ross and Lee Little
5)  Ginny Amsler - June Jackson

How the New American Grand Prix Works

The 1997 New America Grand Prix covers 16 of the most important croquet events in North America - all the national championships and USCA regionals as well as eight of the consistently strongest tournaments in the land. Designed to track the performance of the top-level players throughout the calendar year, the Grand Prix awards points to the top eight finishers in all these tournaments. The amount of the points award depends not only on the rank of finish in a particular tournament, but also the strength of the tournament as measured in four "scoring ranges", with a win or place in the toughest tournaments generating four times as many points as a win or place in the weakest of the 16 events. The Grand Prix also takes into account consistency: At the end of the year, the top performers' points are averaged among all the Grand Prix events they contested, and the "Player of the Year" is determined by computing the highest score. To be eligible for this ranking, at least three events must be played.

How Grand Prix Points Are Awarded

Grand Prix player rankings are updated after each event, based on reported results. Raw points are awarded on the following basis:

FIRST PLACE - 100 points;
SECOND  - 60 points; 
THIRD   - 40 points;
FOURTH  - 30 points;
FIFTH   - 25 points;
SIXTH   - 20 points;
SEVENTH - 15 points;
EIGHTH  - 10 points.

The points are then adjusted according to the strength of the field, as measured by the aggregate handicap total of the top eight players registered in the tournament, as follows:

RAW POINTS for placing in events scoring 10 or more;
RAW POINTS x 2 for placing in events scoring 5.0 through 9.5;
RAW POINTS x 3 for placing in events scoring 2.0 through 4.5;
RAW POINTS x 4 for placing in events scoring below 2.0.

1997 Grand Prix Point Standings
After Fifteen of Sixteen Events

1220 points - John Osborn
770 points  - Mik Mehas
680 points  - Bill Berne 
458 points  - Jim Hughes
423 points  - Britt Ruby
400 points  - Don Fournier, Jr., 
              Chris Clarke (England)
395 points  - Doug Grimsley
300 points  - Carl Hanson, Darrell Turner
240 points  - Pat Roach, Debbie Cornelius (England) 
              Jerry Stark, Leo McBride (Canada)
220 points  - John Phaneuf
200 points  - Carl Mabee
188 points  - Richard Powell
173 points  - Stuart Lawrence
165 points  - Neil Houghton
160 points  - Tony Stephens (New Zealand) 
              David Openshaw (England)
150 points  - Leo McBride
135 points  - Dan Mahoney
128 points  - Bob Cherry 
120 points  - Mike Zuro, Mack Penwell
              Jacques Fournier
110 points  - Stephen Mulliner (England)
              Steve Comish (England)
100 points  - Jim Bast, Jeff Soo, Rich Lamm 
              Steve Johnston, Rory Kelley
  98 points - Mark Najarian
  95 points - Brian Cumming
  90 points - Fred Jones, Ron Turner 
              Rich Curtis
  88 points - Dave Lewis
  85 points - Matt Baird
  80 points - Greg Shaffer, Erv Peterson
  75 points - Alan Wolman
  70 points - Wayne Rodoni, John Leonard
  68 points - Jim Hall, Joe Morris
  60 points - Steve Jones (New Zealand) 
              Jeff Dawson (England)
              Toby Garrison (New Zealand)
              Joe Yoder, Ed Merrill
              Mike Weimerskirch, Charlie Smith
  50 points - Carl Larkin
  48 points - Michael Zuro
  45 points - John Hunter
  40 points - Paul Bennett, Peter Brandt
              Phil Arnold
  38 points - Gar Bechstead, John Oehrle
  35 points - Jim Houser, Rich Sheeley
  30 points - John Dill, Doug Merrill
  25 points - Chuck Reif, Byron Thomas
              Dwight Mayer, Rhys Thomas
              Sal Esquivel, Jim Audas 
              Steve Mossbrook, Tom Hughes
              Bill Martin, Derrick Robinson
  23 points - Johnny Mitchell
  20 points - John Taylor, Dick Brackett
  18 points - Jeff Maxwell, Chuck Whitlow
              Ron Lloyd
  15 points - Bill Blanton


January 12-19, 1997
(Grade One, quadruple points)
Palm Beach, Florida

1st - John Osborn
2nd - Jim Hughes
3rd - Bill Berne
4th - Richard Powell
5th - Fred Jones
        Bob Cherry
7th - Chuck Reif
        Byron Thomas
        Dwight Mayer
        Rhys Thomas

March 2-8
(Grade One, quadruple points)
Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona

1st - Don Fornier, Jr.
2nd - Pat Roach
3rd - Mik Mehas
4th - Doug Grimsley
5th - Carl Hanson
6th - John Osborn
7th - Matt Baird
        Alan Wolman

May 8-11
(Grade Three, double points)
San Francisco, California

1st - Carl Hanson
2nd - Mik Mehas
3rd - Wayne Rodoni
        John Leonard
5th - Dan Mahoney
        Stuart Lawrence
7th - Sal Esquivel
        Jim Audas

May 21-25
(Grade Two, triple points)
Pinehurst, North Carolina

1st - Darrell Turner
2nd - Bill Berne
3rd - Mack Penwell
4th - Ron Turner
5th - Richard Powell
        Jim Hall
7th - Bob Cherry
        Gar Beckstead

MAY 23-26
(Grade Three, double points)
Wilmington, Delaware

1st - John Osborn
2nd - Mike Zuro
3rd - Greg Shaffer
4th - Jim Hughes
5th - Doug Grimsley
        Neil Houghton
7th - Jim Hauser
        Tom Hughes

May 26-31
(International Rules)
(Grade One, quadruple points)
Sonoma-Cutrer Winery, Windsor, California

1st - Chris Clarke (England)
2nd - Debbie Cornelius (England)
3rd - Tony Stephens (New Zealand)
4th - Stephen Mulliner (England)
        Steve Comish (England)
6th - Steve Jones (New Zealand)
        Jeff Dawson (England)
        Toby Garrison (New Zealand)

June 19-22
(Grade Four, raw points)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

American Rules International Rules
Dan Mahoney
Jeff Soo
Leo McBride
Jim Hauser
Dave Lewis
Bill Martin
Mark Najarian
Chris Percival-Smith
Brian Cumming
Jeff Soo
Leo McBride
Bill Martin
Dave Lewis
Mark Najarian
Leon Parker
Ross Robinson

June 25-29
(Grade One, raw points)
Denver, Colorado

1. Rich Lamm
2. Ed Merrill
3. Peter Brandt
4. Doug Merrill
5. Steve Mossbrook
6. John Taylor

June 26-29
(Grade Four, raw points)
Houston, Texas

1. Jim Bast
2. Joe Yoder
3. Paul Bennett
4. John Dill
5. Britt Ruby
    Johnny Mitchell
7. Bill Blanton

July 8-12
(Grade Four, raw points)
Minneapolis, Minnesota

1. Steve Johnston
2. Mike Weimerskirch
3. Rick Sheely
    Matt Baird
5. Mike Zuro
    Jeff Maxwell
    Chuck Whitlow
    Ron Lloyd

July 30-August 3
(Grade Three, double points)
Newport, Rhode Island

1. Carl Mabee
2. Leo McBride
3. Mark Najarian
4. Dave Lewis
5. John Hunter
    Brian Cumming
    Derrick Robinson
    Alan Wolman

August 6-10
(Grade Two, triple points)
Wilmington, Delaware

1. John Osborn
2. Doug Grimsley
3. Neil Houghton
4. Rich Curtis
5. Joe Morris
    Stuart Lawrence
    Jim Hughes
    John Oehrle

September 12-14
(Grade Three, double points)
Haverford, Pennsylvania

1. Bill Berne
2. Jim Hughes
3. John Phaneuf
4. Stuart Lawrence
5. Neil Houghton
6. Dan Mahoney
7. Michael Zuro
8. Dick Brackett

September 17-21
(Grade One, Quadruple Points)
Oakland and San Francisco, California

1. Mik Mehas
2. Jerry Stark
3. David Openshaw
4. Jacques Fournier
5. Rory Kelley
6. Erv Peterson
7. Charlie Smith
8. Phil Arnold

October 19-25
Palm Beach, Florida

1. Britt Ruby
2. John Osborn
3. Bill Berne
  &nbspJohn Phaneuf
5. Leo McBride
    Mik Mehas
7. Doug Grimsley
    Carl Larkin

December 3-7
U.S. OPEN (International Rules)
Palm Desert and Rancho MIrage, California

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