Maui Croquet Club CROQUET NEWSU.S. Croquet Team Takes Trophy for First Time Ever

Click to Visit8 December 2009
Mission Hills Country Club, Rancho Mirage, California, USA United States of America
story by Marcel Honoré in The Desert Sun, Palm Springs, California, USA United States of America
photo by Genie Hendry

The Solomon Trophy, seen Monday at Mission Hills Country Club, will reside in the U.S. for the first time, since the American croquet team defeated the British team Monday.  

United States croquet players made history Monday at the Mission Hills Country Club, beating a British team for the first time ever to take the Solomon Trophy, according to officials.

The two countries' best croquet players compete annually for the trophy, and Monday's victory marked the first time in the event's 18-year history that the United States won, said Ben Rothman, a player with the U.S. team.

Rothman, who said he was the top-ranked croquet player in North America, likened the U.S. victory against Great Britain on Monday to beating U.S.A. basketball's “Dream Team” in its original heyday.

He called Great Britain the “powerhouse” of croquet. The United States has yet to beat Great Britain in the MacRobertson Shield, which is like the Olympics of croquet, Rothman said.

Mission Hills Country Club manager Josh Tanner (left) joins American croquet team members Ben Rothman, Jerry Stark, Danny Huneycutt, Doug Grimsley, American team captain Jeff Soo, and Jim Bast, along with British team captain Ian Burridge, and his team, Robin Cook, Tony Le Moignan, Jeff Dawson, Stephen Mulliner and Samir Patel with the Solomon Trophy on Monday after the U.S. victory against Great Britain. The match marked the first time the Americans have ever defeated the Britons in this competition.  

Other U.S. team members for this year's Solomon Trophy were Jim Bast, Doug Grimsley, Danny Huneycutt, Jeff Soo (captain) and Jerry Stark.

Bast played in the original Solomon Trophy match in 1985, according to a news release.

The match alternates each year between the two nations, and Monday's match was the second time the Solomon Trophy was held at Mission Hills, Rothman said.

He added that Monday's rain slowed the court “slightly” but didn't change the game significantly.

The sport's U.S. Open begins today at Mission Hills.