Bova wins seven on the loss side to meet and defeat Willis in finals of Sunshine State Pro/Am
Skip Maloney
Aug. 6, 2017
(l to r): Dale Stanley, Kenny Willis, Kyle Bova
(l to r): Dale Stanley, Kenny Willis, Kyle Bova

Kyle Bova, who used to ply his trade on the Western New York Tour, and for the past three years or so, has switched his base of operations to Florida, came from deep on the loss side to win the August 5-6 stop (#5) on the Sunshine State Pro-Am Tour. He challenged Kenny Willis, aka Jimmy Neutron, in the finals and defeated him to claim the $400-added event that drew 45 entrants (nine women and 36 men) to Stephanie  Mitchell's pool room, Corner Pocket in Largo, FL.

 

Bova was awarded an opening round bye, and downEd Martin Mora 7-2, before being sent to the loss side by Justin McNulty 7-3. McNulty followed him over in the next round, when he was defeated by Dale Stanley 7-2. Stanley advanced to face Mike Delawder in one of the winners' side semifinals. Neutron, in the meantime, following victories over Todd Moir, Nikki Cuellar, and a double hill win over Michael DeStefano, faced George Saunders in the other winners' side semifinal.

 

Neutron sent Saunders to the loss side 7-3, and in the hot seat match faced Stanley, who'd defeated Delawder 7-5. Neutron claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Stanley and waited for what turned out to be the return of Bova.

 

Over on the loss side, Bova opened his campaign with three straight 6-3 wins, over Kelly Cavanaugh, Mark Wathan, and DeStefano, before downing Angel Martinez 6-4 and drawing Delawder. Saunders picked up Mubarak Sulaiman, who'd defeated Ron Hollifield 5-3 and denied Bova a second shot at McNulty by defeating him 5-2.

 

Bova shut Delawder out and in the quarterfinal match, faced Saunders, who'd eliminated Sulaiman 5-3. Bova chalked up his fourth 6-3 win against Saunders, and then, his fifth 6-3 win against Stanley in the semifinals.

 

Bova's five 6-3 wins on the loss side seemed to indicate a preference for winning 66% of the games he played. That dropped a little in the longer-race-to-11 final against Neutron, when he chalked up only 61% of the 18 games played, for an 11-7 final that earned Bova the event title.

 

Tour directors Janene Phillips and Frank Garza thanked Corner Pocket owner Stephanie Mitchell (who, along with Kaylee McIntosh, shared $40 in a tie for the top-finishing female) and her staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors JQ Images Cues, Billiard Buzz, and AZBilliards. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for Aug. 26-27, will be hosted by Brewlands Bar & Billiards in Tampa.

 

(Administrative note: Though Kenny Willis has been consistent with his usage of  'Jimmy Neutron' as his preferred pool name, and we're willing to go along with references to him as 'Jimmy Neutron' in reports of his appearances on tours, we will be equally consistent in using his real name (Kenny Willis) when assigning information about him in our database. He does bear a passing resemblance to the cartoon Neutron character, minus the hairdo, which on that cartoon character looks like the tip of a chocolate ice cream cone from Dairy Queen, but opening the database door to the usage of 'fake names' would inevitably lead to the inclusion of no-doubt creative names, as pool players looked to cement their reputation with suggestive name alternatives like 'Run 'em Out Ron, Pool Stud Pat, or who knows what else. We'll use "The Scorpion" nickname in a story, too, and include that nickname in his page on the site, but he goes into our database as 'Johnny Archer.'