Back to
The Front Page
Archives
Who won the cash in 1999?
by Garth Eliassen
Editor, National Croquet Calendar
Posted January 17, 2000


Garth Eliassen has meticulously compiled statistics on croquet purses for 13 years, tracking annual totals ranging from a high of $75,350 in 1988 to a low of $5,453 in 1995. Why does he do it? And why should anyone care about such a paltry amount of cash? Why are we compelled to pore over the entire list, looking at each name, studying the ranking of 261 players who can lay claim to being winners of croquet purses? Perhaps its because in a sport that may never offer its stars big cash prizes and multi-million-dollar endorsements, these modest winnings are small tokens of glory - more than sufficient reward for doing what we want to do for nothing more than the joy of it.
The amount of purse play reported to the Calendar in 1999 crept up a bit to $22,272, a gain of a little over four thousand bucks from 1988's $18,185. That slight increase was also indicated in the number of "professional" purse-snatching players, up to 64 from 1998's 48. Perhaps the stigma of bygone days against any tournament willing to try to raise a purse and the "play for pay" players who would attend is finally fading away, as it should.

But as the millennium arrives, we are still waiting for a big-bucks corporate benefactor who will arrive on our courts with cash aplenty to back a professional circuit (or at least one major American-rules tournament) and virtually dominate a nationwide sport and its attendant opportunities for television, marketing, and world-wide publicity. Anyone out there? Anyone listening?

Tokens of glory: Jacques Fournier (left) was the big cash winner in 1999, followed by Mik Mehas (right) - two Americans who have grown accustomed to vying for the prize.
Prize winnings last year ranged from Jacques Fournier's $6,700 total, for winning the World Championship and the U.S. Open and placing well at the Resort at the Mountain; to Rob Currier's $5 spare change (good for one double latté) picked up in Winter Park's Hall-I-Daze Craze. Mik Mehas was second in winnings, picking up $1,665 in two tournaments; Robert Fulford and David Openshaw were next, each receiving $1,500. Canada's Leo McBride was the busiest purse player of the year, traveling to five different tournaments and grossing $1,326.

Fulford, with total earnings of $18,100, is sneaking up and is now only three hundred bucks behind the dormant Reid Fleming, whose grand total is still $18,387.50 and who has stood at the top of the tables since the Calendar began compiling purse amounts shortly after big-time purse play began at the Meadowood Resort in Napa Valley. Fleming, whose mastery of American strategy was so great that he barely had to hit a ball to win, could play in a few purse tournaments without any practice and still do well.

Memo to Fleming: Come out of retirement and get back on the courts if you want to stay top dog, numero uno.

Still remaining at number three with $13,725 is Neil Spooner, another vanished croquet champ and master of American strategy who disappeared Down Under and hasn¹t been seen since antiquity. Seasoned vets Archie Burchfield at four and Jerry Stark at five are creeping up on Spooner's cache and will probably overtake him next year with minimal winnings.

Who's passing out the bucks?

Major purse tournaments of the year were the Sonoma-Cutrer World Championships held in May with $8,000 trophy money; the Resort at the Mountain International Invitational in June with $4,250; the Minnesota International Open in July with $2,250; the Beverly Hills International in August (golf croquet) with $1,600; the Delaware International Rules Invitational in August with $1,400; the Canadian Open in June with Can$1,900; the Owensboro Open in August with $1,000; and the West Coast Classic in April with $1,320 in Canadian dollars.

Other tournaments reported to the Calendar were the Winter Park Croquet Club's Hall-I-Daze (played in late December but recorded this year) with $140 purse, the Arizona Croquet Club's Association Rules Round Robin played in January with $60 purse, Think Spring Invitational in February with $300, the Ottawa International Rules Invitational in August with Can$200, the Country Boys Invitational in November with $450, and the U.S. Open in December, offering its winner (Fournier) $500 to aid in travel expenses to the MacRobertson Shield competition.

The venerable Parksville World Croquet Championships in Victoria, British Columbia, again offered a small purse (Can$660) for its nine-wicket team play.

The real winner of the year, however, was yet again the charities generously supported by Sonoma-Cutrer's premier tournament. This year an astounding $804,000 was raised in the auction preceding the final, then donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Magic Moments, and the Polly Klaas Foundation.

ANNUAL PURSE TOTALS

    1987    $15,000.00
    1988    $75,350.00
    1989    $64,365.00
    1990    $10,587.50
    1991    $4,990.00
    1992    $8,590.00
    1993    $18,115.00
    1994    $11,620.00
    1995    $5,453.00
    1996    $11,810.00
    1997    $18,577.00
    1998    $18,185.00
    1999    $22,272.00

Following the purse amounts in parentheses below are the number of purse tournaments that were used to comprise an individual's total winnings in 1999. Asterisks (*) indicate nine-wicket play. Amounts awarded in Canadian dollars were converted to U.S. dollars based on the exchange rate on December 30 of 1.45 Canadian to one U.S.

1999 PURSE WINNERS RANKED

    1.  Jacques Fournier
           $6,700.00 (3)
    2.  Mik Mehas
           $1,665.00 (2)
    3.  Robert Fulford
           $1,500.00
        David Openshaw
           $1,500.00
    5.  Leo McBride
           $1,326.00 (5)
    6.  John Taves
           $1,172.00
    7.  Khaled Younis
           $1,000.00
    8.  Jerry Stark
           $750.00
    9.  Chris Percival-Smith
           $550.00  (2)
    10. Chris Clarke
           $500.00
        Archie Burchfield
           $500.00
    12. Johnny Osborn
           $450.00
    13. Frank Hentic
           $400.00 (2)
    14. Rich Curtis
           $344.00
    15. Bryan Dawson
           $300.00
        Nick Gaza
           $300.00
        Stuart Lawrence
           $300.00
    18. Joe Koenig
           $250.00
        Neil Houghton
           $250.00
    20. Bill Martin
           $206.00
    21. Mohammad Kamal
           $200.00
    22. Don Taves
           $158.00
    23. Daley Craig (2)
           $150.00
        Rick Sheely
           $150.00
        Rick Wilhoite
           $150.00
    26. Floyd Bolton
           $103.00
    27. Tony Hall
           $103.00
    28. Jim Hall
            $100.00
        May Abagi
           $100.00
        Stuart Brodsky
           $100.00
        Ken Scroggins
           $100.00
    32. Pat Jiggins*
           $83.00
        Mark Cundy*
           $83.00
        Kim Jiggins*
           $83.00
    35. John Taylor
           $79.00
    36. Jim Nicklasson
           $75.00
        Wayne Synan
           $75.00
        Harold Allison
           $75.00
    39. Gord Broom
           $52.00
    40. Mike Scher
           $50.00
        Ron Pollard
           $50.00
        Bob Hicks
           $50.00
        Jim Houser
           $50.00
        Mack Penwell
           $50.00
        Michael O'Brien
           $50.00
    46. Lyle Sorbie*
           $41.00
        Mark Salmon*
           $41.00
        Jim Carey*
           $41.00
    49. Dean Chamberlin
           $34.00
    50. Lisa Parsons
           $30.00
        Fran Howland
           $30.00
        Emery Branscombe
           $30.00
    53. Murray Allen*
           $28.00
        Keith Butler*
           $28.00
        Peter Atkinson*
           $28.00
    56. Jim Spoonhour
           $25.00
    57. Bob Brotzman
           $20.00
        Darry Semple
           $20.00
        Bob Philips
           $20.00
    60. Paul Emmett
           $17.00
        Ken Shipley
           $17.00
    62. John Curington
           $10.00
        Ren Kraft
           $10.00
    64. Rob Currier
           $5.00

THIRTEEN-YEAR OVERALL PURSE STANDINGS

    1.  Reid Fleming
           $18,387.50 (15)
    2.  Robert Fulford
           $18,100.00 (10)
    3.  Neil Spooner
            $13,725.00 (8)
    4.  Archie Burchfield
           $13,407.00 (16)
    5.  Jerry Stark
           $13.250.00 (13)
    6.  Chris Clarke
           $9,800.00 (6)
    7.  Harold Brown
           $9,275.00 (4)
    8.  Johnny Osborn
           $9,175.00 (10)
    9.  Damon Bidencope
           $9,070.00 (9)
    10. Ren Kraft
           $8,517.00 (7)
    11. Jacques Fournier
           $8,445.00 (6)
    12. Barry Chambers
           $7,375.00 (4)
    13. Mik Mehas
           $7,247.00 (9)
    14.   Michael Watkins
           $6,850.00 (3)
    15. Fred Rogerson
           $6,375.00 (3)
    16. Teddy Prentis
           $4,850.00 (8)
    17. Mark Avery
           $4,787.50 (2)
    18. Lenny Karbo
           $4,282.00 (5)
    19. Tremaine Arkley
           $3,800.00 (7)
    20. Leo McBride
           $3,299 (16)
    21. Doug Grimsley
           $3,250.00 (10)
    22. Jay Hughes
           $3,125.50 (9)
    23. Bob Kroeger
           $3,069.50 (7)
    24. Jim Bast
           $2,899.00 (4)
    25.   Mack Penwell
           $2,780.00 (5)
    26. Phil Cordingley
           $2,450.00 (3)
    27. John Taves
           $2,291.00 (4)
    28. Sal Esquivel
           $2,250.00 (6)
    29. David Openshaw
           $2,183.00 (3)
    30. Hans Peterson
           $2,125.00 (4)
    31. Kiley Jones
           $2,000.00 (2)
    32. Wayne Rodoni
           $1,990.00 (8)
    33. Ricky Wilhoite
           $1,850.00 (5)
    34. Dana Dribben
           $1,750.00 (1)
    35. Roger Tribe
           $1,625.00 (1)
    36. Harper Peterson
           $1,600.00 (2)
        Simon Williams
            $1,600.00 (2)
    38. Patty Dole
           $1,548.00 (4)
    39. Debbie Cornelius
           $1,500.00 (1)
        Toby Garrison
           $1,500.00 (2)
    41. Merlin Karlock
           $1,450.00 (2)
        Richard Reedy
           $1,450.00 (2)
    43. Bill Berne
           $1,425.00 (2)
    44. Pat Jiggins*
           $1,308.00 (7)
    45. Nate Weimerskirch
           $1,300.00 (3)
    46. Mike Gibbons
           $1,262.50 (3)
    47. Colin Pickering
           $1,250.00 (2)
    48. Jim Erwin
           $1,200.00 (2)
    49. Jim Woodall
           $1,107.00 (2)
    50. Jeff Soo
           $1,000.00 (4)
        Khaled Younis
           $1,000.00 (1)
    52. Wayne Stretch*
           $935.00 (7)
    53.   Rich Curtis
           $919.00 (4)
    54. Tom Coles
           $857.00 (1)
    55. C. B. Smith
           $850.00 (4)
    56. Peyton Ballenger
           $825.00 (3)
    57. Don Fournier, Jr.
           $810.00 (2)
    58. Jim Hughes
           $800.00 (3)
    59. Frank Estrada
           $750.00 (1)
        Carl Von Schmieder
           $750.00 (1)
        Rhys Thomas
           $750.00 (3)
        Harley Watts
           $750.00 (1)
    63. Greg Dowell*
           $740.00 (5)
    64. Mark Cundy*
           $733.00 (4)
    65. Merritt Jacob
           $700.00 (1)
    66. Nelga Young
           $675.00 (1)
        Brian Vecqueray*
           $675.00 (3)
        Norman Graves
           $675.00 (4)
    69. Leonard Ludwikowski*
           $660.00 (4)
    70. Ellery McClatchy
           $650.00 (2)
    71. Ed Breuer
           $640.00 (3)
    72. Chuck Passmore*
           $605.00 (5)
    73. Carlton Mabee
           $600.00 (1)
        Harold Hayes*
           $600.00 (2)
    75. Kermit Rosen
           $585.00 (4)
    76. Stuart Lawrence
           $575.00 (2)
    77. Chris Percival-Smith
           $550.00 (1)
    78. Brian Cumming
           $526.00 (4)
    79. Tony Stephens
           $500.00 (1)
        David Maugham
           $500.00 (1)
        Jim Rule
           $500.00 (1)
        Chuck Reif
           $500.00 (1)
        Ray Bell
           $500.00 (1)
        Joseph LaFauci*
           $500.00 (4)
        Bubbie Grimsley
           $500.00 (1)
        Paul Scott
           $500.00 (2)
        Dan Mahoney
           $500.00 (1)
        Jim Houser
           $500.00 (2)
    89. Mike Zuro
           $487.50 (2)
    90. Rebo Rebuschatis
           $480.00 (4)
    91. Jack Osborn
           $450.00 (3)
        John McBride*
           $450.00 (4)
    93. Dave Lewis
           $423.00 (4)
    94. Kim Jiggins*
           $418.00 (5)
    95. Archie Peck
           $400.00 (1)
        Greg Shaffer
           $400.00 (2)
        Frank Hentic
           $400.00 (2)
    98. Fred Falk*
           $360.00 (2)
    99. Tony Waterer
           $350.00 (2)
        Howard Kellogg
           $350.00 (1)
        Bill Roche
           $350.00 (1)
        Daley Craig
           $350.00 (3)
        Neil Houghton
           $350.00 (2)
   104. Dean Nagata*
           $325.00 (2)
        Pat Roach
           $325.00 (1)
   106. Erv Peterson
           $320.00 (5)
   107. Don Taves
           $308.00 (2)
   108. Bill Martin
           $306.00 (3)
   109. Susan Vecqueray*
           $300.00 (1)
        John (Dorky) Dawson*
           $300.00 (1)
        Terry Cunningham
           $300.00 (2)
        Walt Janitz
           $300.00 (1)
        Lorne Stretch*
           $300.00 (1)
        Richard Pollay*
           $300.00 (3)
        Ginger James*
           $300.00 (3)
        Carolyn Danz
           $300.00 (1)
        Rosemarie Taylor
           $300.00 (1)
        Andy Kozusko
           $300.00 (1)
        Aaron Westerby
           $300.00 (1)
        Brian Dawson
           $300.00 (1)
        Nick Gaza
           $300.00 (1)
   122. Doug Sawyer*
           $275.00 (4)
        Bobby Willhoite
           $275.00 (3)
        Debbie Prentis
           $275.00 (2)
   125. George Latham
           $262.50 (1)
   126. Rufus Bayard
           $250.00 (1)
        Matt Burris
           $250.00 (1)
        Eric Corry
           $250.00 (1)
        Rory Kelley
           $250.00 (1)
        Elston Pearce
           $250.00 (1)
        Thomas Guthrie, Jr.
           $250.00 (1)
        Don Jardine*
           $250.00 (1)
        Darcy Witham*
           $250.00 (1)
        Mark Najarian
           $250.00 (1)
        Joe Koenig
           $250.00 (1)
        Michael O'Brien
           $250.00 (4)
   137. Billie Jean Berne
            $225.00 (1)
   138. Joe Yoder
            $220.00 (2)
   139. Phil Arnold
            $215.00 (3)
   140. Jerry Ball
           $200.00 (1)
        Tom Hughes
           $200.00 (1)
        Steve Wain
           $200.00 (1)
        Dan Shepherd
           $200.00 (2)
        Jeff Simonton
            $200.00 (1)
        Cynthia Gibbons
           $200.00 (1)
        Leon Parker
           $200.00 (2)
        Joe Morris
           $200.00 (2)
        Mohammad Kamal
           $200.00 (1)
   149. Don Heerens
           $187.00  (1)
   150. John Taylor
           $172.00 (2)
   151. Steve Dimond
           $157.00 (2)
   152. John Batchelor*
           $150.00 (1)
        Bill Watkins
           $150.00 (1)
        Jackie Watkins
           $150.00 (1)
        Dave Collins
           $150.00 (1)
        Jeff Wallach
           $150.00 (1)
        Ty Cobb
           $150.00 (1)
        Rhoda Cobb
           $150.00 (1)
        David Hannay*
           $150.00 (2)
        Andrew Aiken
           $150.00 (1)
        David Barr
           $150.00 (1)
        Art Park
           $150.00 (1)
        Rick Sheely
           $150.00 (1)
        Tom Cooper
           $150.00 (1)
   165. Paul Chan
           $145.00 (1)
        Harold Allison
           $145.00 (3)
   167. Hilton Lysons
           $133.00 (1)
   168. Richard Powell
           $125.00 (2)
        Paul Bennett
           $125.00 (1)
   170. John Hunter
           $120.00 (1)
   171. Britt Ruby
           $115.00 (2)
        Jim Nicklasson
           $115.00 (2)
   173. Bart Richardson
           $112.50 (1)
   174. Gordon Broom
           $112.00 (2)
   175. Chuck Passmore*
           $110.00 (1)
        Gord Lunn
           $110.00 (3)
        John Dill
           $110.00 (2)
   178. John Curington
           $110.00 (2)
   179. Floyd Bolton
           $103.00 (1)
        Tony Hall
           $103.00 (1)
   181. Michael Charrier
           $100.00 (1)
        Michael Gibbons, Jr.
           $100.00 (1)
        Liz Thyssen
           $100.00 (1)
        John Gibbons
           $100.00 (1)
        Peter Atkinson*
           $100.00 (1)
        Russ Hannay*
           $100.00 (2)
        Chris Jiggins*
           $100.00 (1)
        George Parker
           $100.00 (1)
        Jim Hall
           $100.00 (1)
        May Abagi
           $100.00 (1)
        Stuart Brodsky
           $100.00 (1)
        Ken Scroggins
           $100.00 (1)
        John Watson
           $100.00 (2)
   194. Carl Hanson
           $96.00 (2)
   195. Johnny Mitchell
           $95.00 (1)
        Bob Chilton
           $95.00 (1)
   197. Al Heath
           $87.50 (1)
        Valerie Heath
           $87.50 (1)
   198. Dave Dondero
           $75.00 (1)
        Dick Loew
           $75.00 (1)
        Brant Classen*
           $75.00 (1)
        Robert Rusinek*
           $75.00 (1)
        Matt Baird
           $75.00 (1)
        Wayne Synan
           $75.00 (1)
   204. Bob Brotzman
           $70.00 (2)
   205. Rob Currier
           $65.00 (3)
   206. Aaron Cawley
           $60.00 (1)
   207. Karen Collingwood
           $52.00 (1)
   208. Charlie Mayo
           $50.00 (1)
        Glen Atkinson*
           $50.00 (1)
        Doug Sanders
           $50.00 (1)
        Ed Roberts
           $50.00 (1)
        Hugh Barger
           $50.00 (1)
        Bob Imhoff*
           $50.00 (1)
        Art Parsells
           $50.00 (1)
        Dave Welden
           $50.00 (1)
        Andy Short
           $50.00 (1)
        Duane Hull
           $50.00 (1)
        Norma Christie
           $50.00 (2)
        Mike Scher
           $50.00 (1)
        Ron Pollard
           $50.00 (1)
        Bob Hicks
           $50.00 (1)
   222. Gary Bell
           $45.00 (1)
   223. Lyle Sorbie*
           $41.00 (1)
        Mark Salmon*
           $41.00 (1)
        Jim Carey*
           $41.00 (1)
   226.Lisa Parsons
           $40.00 (2)
   227. Dean Chamberlin
           $34.00 (1)
        Ken Shipley
           $34.00 (2)
   229. Nick Mitchell
           $33.00 (1)
   230. Chuck Anders
           $30.00 (1)
        John Harralson
           $30.00 (1)
        Gary Dunbar*
           $30.00 (1)
        Ted Knopf
           $30.00 (1)
        Norma Shaughnessy
           $30.00 (1)
        Harold Stark
           $30.00 (1)
        Ross Selvaggi
           $30.00 (1)
        Margot Leonard
           $30.00 (1)
        Austin Connelly
           $30.00 (2)
        Fran Howland
           $30.00 (1)
        Emery Branscombe
           $30.00 (1)
        Darry Semple
           $30.00 (2)
   242. Murray Allen*
           $28.00 (1)
        Keith Butler*
           $28.00 (1)
        Peter Atkinson*
           $28.00 (1)
   245. Harold Menzel
           $27.00 (1)
        Louis Nel
           $27.00 (1)
   247. Carl Uhlman
           $25.00 (1)
        Bill Helyer*
           $25.00 (1)
        Ron Schuster*
           $25.00 (1)
        Jim Spoonhour
           $25.00 (1)
   251. Joe Frice
           $20.00 (1)
        Luci Gorski
           $20.00 (1)
        Ray Stoy
           $20.00 (1)
        Don Burrell
           $20.00 (1)
        Mike Springer
           $20.00 (1)
        Bob Philips
           $20.00 (1)
   257. Mark Janezic
           $18.00 (1)
   258. Paul Emmett
           $17.00 (1)
   259. George Fegan*
           $10.00 (1)
        Chuck Perry
           $10.00 (1)
   261. Derrick Robinson
        $6.60 (1)
[This article is reprinted by permission from the National Croquet Calendar, January 2000 issue.]


 
Back to Top   Copyright © 1996-2017 Croquet World Online Magazine. All rights reserved.