Hall thwarts Davis attempt for back to back wins at the 5th Annual Southeast Open 9-Ball
Skip Maloney - AzB Staff
Sep. 3, 2016
Justin Hall
Justin Hall
With the event's previous two winners facing each other in the hot seat match - Tommy Kennedy (2014) and Mike Davis, Jr. (2015) - the 5th Annual Southeast Open 9-Ball Tournament, held on the weekend of August 27-28, looked as though it was going to crown its first repeat winner. Justin Hall spoiled the party, so to speak. Sent to the loss side by Davis in a winners' side semifinal, Justin returned to challenge and eventually defeat Davis in a tightly contested final match race to 12. The event, streamed live all weekend by Xtreme Pool Challenge, drew 95 entrants to Zingale's in Tallahassee, FL.
 
"I struggled pretty much every match," said Hall in a post-final interview. "I almost didn't get to the finals, period. 
 
"I played better and better throughout the day (on Sunday)," he added, "but I'd miss a few balls for a game or two, and then run out."
 
Davis, who hasn't been playing as much as he'd like to over the past year, chalked his defeat up to his own mistakes. Hall's victory, though, didn't surprise him.
 
"I've played him a lot of times," said Davis, "and he's a real solid player.
 
" It was a real tough (final) match," Davis added. "He played well, but I folded under the pressure and choked a little at the end. Just recently, I haven't played as much, and that showed up there at the end."
 
Hall's weekend started strong, as he gave up only eight racks over his first four matches against Mo Fattah (2), James Sandaler (0) Jordan Bureau (4) and David Walters (2). David Jacobs gave him a run for his money in a winners' side quarterfinal match that went double hill before sending Hall into the winners' side semifinals against Davis. Davis, in the meantime, gave up 23 racks over his first four against Tony Danford (1), Billy Burke (7), Steve Foster (8) and Randy Jordan (7). Tobias Hoiss chalked up six more against him in the winners' side quarterfinals.
 
On the other half of the winners' side bracket, the 2014 winner, Tommy Kennedy was awarded an opening round bye, and then had a total of 16 racks chalked up against him (the same as Hall, with one less match) by David Grossman (7), Clint Nichols (2), Joseph Korsiak (4) and Mark Coats (3). This set Kennedy up to face Anthony Meglino in the other winners' side semifinal.
 
Davis sent Hall to the loss side 9-2, and in the hot seat match, faced Kennedy, who'd sent Meglino over 9-4. Davis got into the hot seat 9-6 and waited on Hall's return.
 
Hall moved over and picked up Mark Coats, who'd defeated Kyle Bova 9-4 and Randy Jordan 9-5 to reach him. Meglino drew Hoiss, who'd eliminated Richard Brompton and David Jacobs, both 9-2. Hall downed Coats 9-6 and in the quarterfinals, faced Meglino who'd shut Hoiss out.
 
Hall took the quarterfinals over Meglino 9-6. He then fought a tight, semifinal battle against Kennedy that came within a game of double hill before Hall advanced 9-7.
 
Hall and Davis fought back and forth through numerous ties in the early going of the race-to-12 finals. Davis got out in front a few times, but by game 20, they were dead even at 10 apiece. Hall won the next two to claim the 5th Annual Southeast Open 9-Ball title.