Hall goes undefeated to take Sunshine State Pro Am Tour stop
Aug. 31, 2017
Aug. 31, 2017
(l to r): Bobby Garza, Janene Phillips, Jeannette Lee and Justin Hall
It's been five years since Justin Hall chalked up wins in both the One Pocket and Banks divisions of the Southern Classic in Tunica, MS; defeating Ryan Stone in the One Pocket final and Alex Pagulayan in the Banks final. The two wins earned him Master of the Table honors at the event, ahead of both Pagulayan and Warren Kiamco. It was, according to our records, Hall's best earnings year of his (to date) 12-year career at the tables. Five years later, he dropped in on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour on Saturday, August 26 and demonstrated that he's still a force to be reckoned with. He went undefeated through a field of 34, on hand for the $600-added event, hosted by Brewlands Bar & Billiards in Tampa, FL. Also on-hand for the event was Jeannette Lee, operator of an area APA franchise, who stopped by to say hello and pose for a picture with the two finalists, Hall and Bobby Garza, and Tour Director Janene Phillips.
Hall had to contend with Garza twice in this event; the first time, in a winners' side quarterfinal, and again, in the finals. Following his win over Garza, Hall moved into a winners' side semifinal match against Gary Hale, while Kyle Bova squared off against Dale Stanley. Hall was picking up speed and downed Hale 7-2, while Bova sent Stanley west 7-5. Hall claimed the hot seat 7-2 over Bova, and waited for Garza to complete his five-match, loss-side run back to the finals.
Garza opened his loss-side campaign with a 7-3 win over Tony Vicari, and then eliminated Carrie Vetrono 7-1 (Vetrono was the highest female finisher, which earned her an extra $50). Garza advanced to pick up Stanley. Hale drew Anthony Meglino, who'd defeated Joe Scarborough 7-5 and Justin McNulty 7-4 to reach him.
The loss-side competitors in the two matches that determined the tie for 5th place advanced; Garza 7-2 over Stanley and Meglino with a shutout over Hale. Garza took the quarterfinal match over Meglino 7-4, and then allowed Bova only a single rack in the semifinals, to earn himself a second shot against Hall.
Though Garza put up a fight in those finals, he couldn't stop Hall from chalking up the win. They came within a game of double hill, but Hall closed it out at 9-7 to claim the event title.
Tour director Janene Phillips thanked the ownership and staff at Brewlands Bar & Billiards, and Jeannette Lee for her unexpected visit. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for September 23-24, will be an Open 8-Ball event, hosted by Park Ave. Billiards in Orange Park, FL.