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Who won the money in 2001?

by Garth Eliassen
Editor, National Croquet Calendar
Posted February 2, 2002


Garth Eliassen's annual ritual - updating croquet purse totals - is enacted below in its entirety. Like Garth, we find the recounting of these pathetic statistics each year strangely fascinating. Are big purses essential to the enjoyment of croquet? Of course not. But these numbers are emblematic of croquet's unfulfilled promise. Television and the Sunday Supplement report on croquet mostly as a lifestyle, not a sport. Golf Croquet could conceivably capture the television eye, but it will take a true visionary in the industry to make that leap of faith and put just one game on the tube. There will be no big purses, no licensing fees, and no endorsements until people watch croquet on television. In 1988 - the year of the biggest purse winnings - many people and some sponsors believed that croquet was "the fastest growing sport in America." Put a well-produced Golf Croquet game on television, and the sponsor money will magically reappear and multiply. Garth will have a real story.
Croquet recluse Reid Fleming, who hasn't been seen on court in eight or nine years, is still at the top of the all-time purse winnings despite the best efforts of the world's top players to scramble up and displace him. Fleming's total bounty of $18,387.50 still stands.

Close on Fleming's heels is Robert Fulford, a mere $287 behind; all Fulford needs is a victory in a small purse tourney to take the lead.

In third place of all-time winners is Jerry Stark, who like Fleming and others is still benefiting in the rankings from the big-bucks salad days of the grand Meadowood Classic and and other large purse tourneys, which suddenly vanished in the nineties as the golden promise of croquet's image, its alleged exploding popularity, and the confidence and financial health of potential sponsors slowly faded away.

Croquet great Neil Spooner, who abruptly fled Down Under when his short but glorious reign at Sonoma-Cutrer was unfortunately severed, and who, like Fleming, hasn't played since, is still at fourth place in overall standings. He is followed by Archie Burchfield and John Osborn, both, also, vets of those big-purse debuts.

Chris Clarke and David Maugham are both active players, and should overtake the dormant ones next year if their winnings continue as they surely will.

Total purse reported to the Calendar in 2001 was $22,221, up three grand from last year. The biggest tournament as far as purse is concerned was again the Sonoma-Cutrer World Championship, which generously gives $5,000 to the winner and $1,500 to second, as well as offering a smaller purse in the golf croquet warmup and the tournament's extraordinary gift of over a million bucks to worthwhile local and national charities.

The next largest play-for-pay tournament was the international-rules Resort Invitational in Oregon, doling out $3,500.

After those two, the rest of the dough came from a few regulars like the West Coast Classic, Delaware Association Rules Invitational, and the Canadian Open, supplemented by some smaller purse-disbursing tournaments and an increasingly feverish plethora of gambling in local and regional weekend tournaments in Eastern Canada.

Stephen Mulliner of England was the year's top winner after he returned to competition at Sonoma-Cutrer in May and recaptured the world title and its $5,000 payout.

Reginald Bamford of South Africa, currently residing in England, was second at $2,500 after winning the golf croquet prelim at Cutrer, then visiting the West Coast again in September and picking up $1,500 more at the Resort at the Mountain.

Leo McBride, scurrying to and fro in the aforesaid Canadian cash circuit, came in third for the year by picking up $1,500 in five smaller tourneys.

There were, by the way, 70 players who won cash in 2001, compared to 41 the year before. Most of those picked up stipends like $50, $30, and $20 at smaller local tournaments. But it's a good idea to hand out reimbursements when perhaps the entry fee or the cost of trophies is not warranted by a small number of players or modest entry fees.

But what is still needed? A major American-rules open with an enthusiastic sponsor and a $30,000 to $50,000 purse. Unrealistic? Not really, if we really want to seriously promote the game and get it back on the sports pages rather than in the frilly-white-lace and champagne-silly features pages.

Following the purse amounts in parentheses below are the number of purse tournaments, if more than one, that were used to comprise the total. Asterisks indicate nine-wicket play. Amounts awarded in Canadian dollars were converted to U.S. dollars based on the exchange rate at press time of .63 American dollar to one Canadian.

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 $11,953.00
1996 $11,810.00
1997 $18,577.00
1998 $18,185.00
1999 $22,272.00
2000 $18,348.00
2001 $22,221.00

2001 purse winners

1.  Stephen Mulliner  $5,000.00
2.  Reginald Bamford  $2,500.00 (2)
3.  Leo McBride  $1,500.50 (5)
4.  Chris Clarke  $1,500.00
5.  Curtis Drake  $1,366.67
6.  David Openshaw  $1,000.00
7.  Ron Lloyd  $941.00 (2)
8.  Ken Rosenberry  $900.00 (2)
9.  Brian Cumming  $819.00 (4)
10. Salah Hassan  $600.00
    Mik Mehas  $600.00
    Simon Williams  $600.00
13. Louis Nel  $421.00 (3)
14. Khaled Younis  $400.00
15. Steve Johnston  $315.00
16. Roy Gee $300.00
17. Fred Jones  $200.00
18. Floyd Bolton   $189.00
19. Carl Uhlman  $189.00
    Joe Koenig  $189.00
    Paul Hall  $189.00
22. Jeff Soo  $175.00 (2)
23. Dave Lewis  $173.25 (2)
24. Jacques Fournier  $150.00
    Waled Salah  $150.00
26. John Osborn  $137.50
27. Mike Jenner  $100.00
    Frank Hentic  $100.00
    Randy Synan  $100.00
30. Paul Emmett  $94.50 (2)
    Erv Peterson  $94.50
    Wally Clark  $94.50
    Chris Loat  $94.50
34. Stuart Lawrence  $75.00
    Harold Allison  $75.00
    Andy Short  $75.00
    Mack Penwell  $75.00
38. Ren Kraft  $72.25 (2)
39. Louise Logan  $70.00 (2)
40. Dean Chamberlin  $63.00
    David Druitt  $63.00
42. Don Fournier, Jr.  $55.00
43. Jim McGill  $50.00
    John Howland  $50.00
    Blaine Davis  $50.00
    Loren Berry  $50.00
    Jennie Connelly  $50.00
    Gordon Charlton  $50.00
    Bill Berne $50.00
    Jack Stevens $50.00
    Rob Currier $50.00
    Chuck Walts $50.00
53. Nate Weimerskirch $33.33
54. Ken Shipley $31.50
55. Ray Stoy  $30.00
    John Springer $30.00
    Bob Lyle   $30.00
    Dick Tutwiler $30.00
    Hedy Stoy  $30.00
    Diane Strachota $30.00
    Clif Forbush  $30.00 (2)
62. Kelley Newton $20.00
    Judy Newton  $20.00
    Tom Taylor  $20.00
    Hope Harmon $20.00
    Walter Fordham $20.00
    Norma Shaughnessy $20.00
    Dori Hicks $20.00
69. Joe MacDonald  $10.00
    Sheila Davis  $10.00

FIFTEEN-YEAR OVERALL PURSE STANDINGS

1.   Reid Fleming  $18,387.50 (15)
2.   Robert Fulford $18,100.00 (10)
3.   Jerry Stark $14,750.00 (14) 
4.   Neil Spooner  $13,725.00 (8)
5.   Archie Burchfield   $13,407.00 (16)
6.   John Osborn   $11,512.50 (13)
7.   Chris Clarke  $11,300.00 (7)
8.   David Maugham  $10,500.00 (3) 
9.   Harold Brown  $9,275.00 (4)
10.  Damon Bidencope  $9,070.00 (9) 
11.  Jacques Fournier   $8,745.00 (8)
12.  Ren Kraft  $8,589.25 (9)
13.  Leo McBride  $7,947.05 (27) 
14.  Mik Mehas  $7,847.00 (10)
15.  Barry Chambers  $7,375.00 (4) 
16.  Michael Watkins  $6,850.00 (3)
17.  Fred Rogerson  $6,375.00 (3)
18.  Stephen Mulliner  $5,000.00 
19.  Teddy Prentis  $4,850.00 (8)
20.  Mark Avery  $4,787.50 (2)
21.  Lenny Karbo  $4,282.00 (5)
22.  Tremaine Arkley  $3,800.00 (7)
23.  Doug Grimsley  $3,450.00 (11)
24.  David Openshaw  $3,183.00 (4)
25.  Jay Hughes  $3,125.50 (9)
26.  Bob Kroeger  $3,069.50 (7)
27.  Jim Bast  $2,899.00 (4) 
28.  Mack Penwell  $2,855.00 (6)
29.  Toby Garrison  $2,500.00 (3)
     Reginald Bamford  $2,500.00 (2)
31.  Phil Cordingley  $2,450.00 (3)
32.  John Taves  $2,291.00 (4)
33.  Sal Esquivel  $2,250.00 (6)
34.  Simon Williams  $2,200.00 (3) 
35.  Hans Peterson  $2,125.00 (4)
36.  Kiley Jones  $2,000.00 (2)
37.  Wayne Rodoni  $1,990.00 (8)
38.  Ricky Wilhoite  $1,850.00 (5)
39.  Nate Weimerskirch  $1,833.33 (5)
40.  Dana Dribben  $1,750.00 (1)
41.  Roger Tribe  $1,625.00 (1)
42.  Curtis Drake  $1,616.67 (2)
43.  Harper Peterson  $1,600.00 (2)
44.  Patty Dole  $1,548.00 (4)
45.  Debbie Cornelius  $1,500.00 (1)
     Shane Davis  $1,500.00
     Jeff Soo  $1,500.00 (8)
48.  Bill Berne  $1,475.00 (3)
49.  Merlin Karlock  $1,450.00 (2)
     Richard Reedy  $1,450.00 (2)
51.  Khaled Younis  $1,400.00 (2)
52.  Brian Cumming  $1,345.00 (8)
53.  Pat Jiggins*  $1,308.00 (7)
54.  Mike Gibbons  $1,262.50 (3)
55.  Colin Pickering  $1,250.00 (2)
56.  Jim Erwin  $1,200.00 (2)
57.  Jim Woodall  $1,107.00 (2)
58.  Ron Lloyd  $941.00 (2)
59.  Wayne Stretch*  $935.00 (7)
60.  Rich Curtis  $919.00 (4)
61.  Greg Dowell*  $905.00 (6)
62.  Ken Rosenberry  $900.00 (2)
63.  Don Fournier, Jr.  $865.00 (3)
64.  Tom Coles  $857.00 (1)
65.  C. B.  Smith  $850.00 (4)
66.  Joe Koenig  $837.00 (3)
67.  Peyton Ballenger  $825.00 (3)
68.  Jim Hughes  $800.00 (3)
69.  Louis Nel  $798.00 (5)
70.  Frank Estrada  $750.00 (1)
     Carl Von Schmieder  $750.00 (1)
     Rhys Thomas  $750.00 (3)
     Harley Watts  $750.00 (1)
74.  Mark Cundy*  $733.00 (4)
75.  Merritt Jacob  $700.00 (1)
76.  Nelga Young  $675.00 (1)
     Brian Vecqueray*  $675.00 (3)
     Norman Graves  $675.00 (4)
79.  Leonard Ludwikowski*  $660.00 (4)
80.  Ellery McClatchy  $650.00 (2)
     Paul Scott  $650.00 (3)
     Stuart Lawrence  $650.00 (3)
84.  Ed Breuer  $640.00 (3)
85.  Chuck Passmore*  $605.00 (5)
86.  Carlton Mabee  $600.00 (1)
     Harold Hayes*  $600.00 (2)
     Mark McInerney  $600.00 (1)
     Salah Hassan  $600.00
90.  Dave Lewis  $596.25 (6)
91.  Kermit Rosen  $585.00 (4)
92.  Gord Lunn  $572.00 (4)
93.  Chris Percival-Smith  $550.00 (1)
94.  Tony Stephens  $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)
     Dan Mahoney  $500.00 (1)
     Jim Houser  $500.00 (2)
102. Frank Hentic  $500.00 (3)
103. John McBride*  $496.20 (5)
103. Mike Zuro  $487.50 (2)
104. Rebo Rebuschatis  $480.00 (4)
105. Jack Osborn  $450.00 (3)
106. Carl Uhlman  $445.00 (3)
107. Kim Jiggins*  $418.00 (5)
108. Erv Peterson  $414.50 (6)
109. Archie Peck  $400.00 (1)
     Greg Shaffer  $400.00 (2)
     Rick Sheely  $400.00 (2)
112. Fred Falk*  $360.00 (2)
113. 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)
     Michael O'Brien  $350.00 (5)
119. Richard Pollay*  $346.20 (4)
     Ginger James*  $346.20 (4)
121. Dean Nagata*  $325.00 (2)
     Pat Roach  $325.00 (1)
123. Steve Johnston  $315.00
124. Don Taves  $308.00 (2)
125. Bill Martin  $306.00 (3)
126. 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)
     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)
137. Roy Gee  $300.00
138. Floyd Bolton  $292.00 (2)
139. Doug Sawyer*  $275.00 (4)
     Bobby Willhoite  $275.00 (3)
     Debbie Prentis  $275.00 (2)
142. George Latham  $262.50 (1)
143. 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)
152. Johnny Mitchell  $245.00 (2) 
153. Billie Jean Berne  $225.00 (1)
     Fred Jones  $225.00 (2) 
155. Joe Yoder  $220.00 (2)
     Harold Allison  $220.00 (4)
157. Phil Arnold  $215.00 (3)
158. Tony Hall  $203.00 (1)
159. 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)
167. Mohammad Kamal  $200.00 (1)
168. Paul Emmett  $194.00 (5)
169. Paul Hall  $189.00
170. Don Heerens  $187.00  (1)
171. John Taylor  $172.00 (2)
172. John Destry  $165.00 (1)
     Dick Knox*  $165.00 (1)
     Mike Cardinal*  $165.00 (1) 
175. Steve Dimond  $157.00 (2)
176. 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)
     Tom Cooper  $150.00 (1)
     Jim Hall  $150.00 (2)
     Waled Salah  $150.00
190. Dean Chamberlin  $146.50 (3)
191. Paul Chan  $145.00 (1)
192. Hilton Lysons  $133.00 (1)
193. Richard Powell  $125.00 (2)
     Paul Bennett  $125.00 (1)  
     Andy Short  $125.00 (2)
196. John Hunter  $120.00 (1)
197. James Hawkins  $115.50 (1) 
198. Britt Ruby  $115.00 (2)
     Jim Nicklasson  $115.00 (2)
     Rob Currier  $115.00 (4) 
201. Bart Richardson  $112.50 (1)
202. Gordon Broom  $112.00 (2)
203. Chuck Passmore*  $110.00 (1)
     John Dill  $110.00 (2)
     John Curington  $110.00 (2)
206. 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)
     May Abagi  $100.00 (1)
     Stuart Brodsky  $100.00 (1)
     Ken Scroggins  $100.00 (1)
     John Watson  $100.00 (2)
     Mike Jenner  $100.00
     Randy Synan  $100.00 220. 
     Carl Hanson   $96.00 (2)
221. Bob Chilton  $95.00 (1)
222. Wally Clark  $94.50
     Chris Loat  $94.50
224. Al Heath  $87.50 (1)
     Valerie Heath  $87.50 (1) 
226. June Gregory  $82.50
227. 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)
     Jim Spoonhour  $75.00 (2) 
234. Bob Brotzman  $70.00 (2)
     Louise Logan  $70.00 (2)
236. Malcolm O'Connell  $66.00 (1)
237. Ken Shipley  $65.50 (3) 
238. David Druitt  $63.00
239. Aaron Cawley  $60.00 (1)
240. Karen Collingwood  $52.00 (1)
241. 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)
     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)
     Jim McGill  $50.00
     John Howland  $50.00
     Blaine Davis  $50.00
     Loren Berry  $50.00
     Jennie Connelly  $50.00
     Gordon Charlton  $50.00
     Jack Stevens  $50.00
     Chuck Walts  $50.00  
     Norma Shaughnessy  $50.00 (2)
     Ray Stoy  $50.00 (2)
264. Gary Bell  $45.00 (1)
     Jim Taylor  $45.00 (1)
     Jack Scott  $45.00 (1)
267. Lyle Sorbie*  $41.00 (1)
     Mark Salmon*  $41.00 (1)
     Jim Carey*  $41.00 (1)
270. Lisa Parsons  $40.00 (2)
271. Bob Cherry  $35.00 (1)
     Chalmers Yeilding  $35.00 (1)
273. Nick Mitchell  $33.00 (1)
274. Chuck Anders  $30.00 (1)
     John Harralson  $30.00 (1)
     Gary Dunbar*  $30.00 (1)
     Ted Knopf  $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)
     John Springer  $30.00
     Bob Lyle  $30.00
     Dick Tutwiler  $30.00
     Hedy Stoy  $30.00
289. Diane Strachota  $30.00
290. Murray Allen*  $28.00 (1)
     Keith Butler*  $28.00 (1)
     Peter Atkinson*  $28.00 (1)
293. Harold Menzel  $27.00 (1)
294. Bill Helyer*  $25.00 (1)
     Ron Schuster*  $25.00 (1)
     Jackie Jones  $25.00 (1) 
297. Kelley Newton  $20.00
     Judy Newton  $20.00
     Joe Frice  $20.00 (1)
     Luci Gorski  $20.00 (1)
     Don Burrell  $20.00 (1)
     Mike Springer  $20.00 (1)
     Bob Philips  $20.00 (1)
     Geoge Enochs  $20.00 (1)
     Mike Preetorious  $20.00 (1)
     Tom Taylor  $20.00
     Hope Harmon  $20.00
     Walter Fordham  $20.00
     Dori Hicks  $20.00
310. Mark Janezic  $18.00 (1)
311. George Fegan*  $10.00 (1)
     Chuck Perry  $10.00 (1)
     Joe MacDonald  $10.00
     Sheila Davis  $10.00
315. Derrick Robinson  $6.60 (1)

[This story is reprinted by permission of the National Croquet Calendar.]


 
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