Josh Hillard wins Starcade Billiards' Robin Workman Memorial 9 Ball Fall Classic Tournament in Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Moore chalks up fourth APT win to maintain season-ending top tour ranking
Skip Maloney - AzB Staff
Dec. 14, 2016
Dec. 14, 2016
Eric Moore and Shaun Wilkie
Going into the final event of the 2017 Action Pool Tour season, there was no catching Eric Moore's top spot in the tour rankings. Ahead by nearly 2,000 points, with three victories on the year (in Feb., June, and Nov.), Moore would have been the tour champion even if his closest competitor in the rankings, Brandon Shuff, had competed and defeated him in the finals of the event. Punctuating his finish at the top of the tour rankings, Moore went undefeated through a field of 35, on-hand for APT's season finale, hosted by Q Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA, on the weekend of December 10-11.
While there was no drama surrounding who'd be the 2017 tour champion, the season finale did offer two competitors the opportunity to vie for the runner-up position, which would earn that player entry into all three divisions of the 2017 US Bar Table Championships in Las Vegas, as well as hotel accommodations (the winner, Moore, received the same bonus prize, in addition to plane fare). With Shuff not in attendance, that runner-up slot would (no matter where they finished) go to either Shaun Wilkie, who entered the tournament in third place, or Kenny Miller, who entered the tournament in fourth place. They were separated by only 19 points.
In effect, that question was answered when they met in the third round of play. After an opening round bye, Wilkie opened his campaign with a shutout over Thomas Williams. Miller, also awarded an opening round bye, opened with a double hill win (9-8) over Christopher Wilburn, who ended up 6th in the tour rankings. Wilkie advanced 9-5 over Miller, who moved west, won a single match (against Nicole Fleming) and was then eliminated by Steve Fleming, who'd end up 5th in the tour rankings.
Wilkie and Moore, now securely in the #1 and #2 positions on the tour, advanced to face each other in a winners' side semifinal. Reymart Lim, making only his third appearance on the 2017 tour, and cousin Nilbert Lim, making his second, squared off in the other semifinal. In their first of two, Moore downed Wilkie 9-7, as Reymart Lim defeated Nilbert Lim 9-6. Moore claimed the hot seat 9-6 over Reymart, assuring Reymart another (minimum) third place finish to match his effort back in May, when he finished behind Wilkie and Shuff.
On the loss side, Wilkie drew Greg Sabins, who'd defeated Steve Fleming, double hill (right after Fleming had eliminated Kenny Miller) and R.J. Carmona 7-3. Nilbert Lim picked up Pat Carosi, who'd gotten by Ray Reyna 7-5 and Christopher Wilburn 7-2 to reach him. Wilkie advanced to the quarterfinals 7-2 over Sabins, and was met by Carosi, who'd ended Nilbert Lim's weekend 7-5.
Wilkie made short work of Carosi, allowing him only a single rack in their quarterfinal match. Reymart Lim, looking to advance to his first final, put up a fight in the semifinals against Wilkie, but fell short 7-5.
And so it was, that the top two players on the 2017 Action Pool Tour, squared off in the finals of the tour's season finale. Moore laid further claim to his already secured top spot in the rankings with a commanding 11-4 victory over Wilkie.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Q Master Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Predator, Ozone Billiards, AZBilliards and Hammerbacher Instruction.