Rudder wins 10 on the loss side and two in the finals to claim Predator DFW 9-Ball Tour title
Skip Maloney
Jun. 27, 2018
(l to r): Chase Rudder, Greg Sandifer & Steve Raynes
(l to r): Chase Rudder, Greg Sandifer & Steve Raynes

 

Chase Rudder has been bringing home cash from Texas tournaments for at least 15 years, having shown up in our database for the first time in 2003, finishing 9th at a stop on the Fast Eddie’s tour in Houston. Since that time, his participation and earnings at the table have ranged from sparse to prolific. He didn’t show up on payout lists at all from 2004 to 2008, and then, after finishing 5th and 9th on two separate Fast Eddie’s stops, he didn’t show up again until 2011, when his only recorded winnings came from a 5th place tie (with David Gutierrez) in the Houston Open. His attendance from that point has been consistent, up to and including his best earnings year to date – 2016 – when (among other appearances) he won the 3rd Junior Norris 9-Ball Shootout in Wichita Falls, defeating Alex Olinger in the finals. Rudder won a stop on the Lone Star Billiard Tour last year and finished as runner-up to Manny Chau in two other stops on the tour.
 
On the weekend of June 23-24, Rudder returned to the tournament winners’ circle for the first time in 2018, doing it the hard way. He won an opening match (against Jennifer Hooten) at the 6th stop on the Predator DFW 9-Ball Tour and was sent to the loss side in his next round by Suliman Abu Salem. Rudder then embarked on a 10-match, loss-side winning streak, and capped it by double dipping hot seat occupant Greg Sandifer in the finals to claim his first event title since early October of last year. The $1,700-added event drew 86 entrants to Click’s Billiards in Arlington, TX.
 
With Rudder on the loss side, working his way back, Sandifer and Steve Raynes advanced to the hot seat match. Sandifer had defeated Donnie Gregory 8-3 to get there in one of the winners’ side semifinals, while Raynes sent Joshua Keller over 7-5 in the other one. Sandifer claimed the hot seat 8-6 over Raynes and waited for Rudder to complete his loss-side run.
 
On the loss side, Rudder (racing to 9) was allowing his opponents an average of about four racks. TJ Davis, battling him in the first money round, was the only player to force a double hill deciding game against him, although Tony Top, two rounds before that, had managed seven. Rudder chalked up loss-side wins #6 and #7 against Aram Hasan (9-4) and Sean Black (9-5) to draw Keller. Gregory, in the meantime, picked up Douglas Pitts, who’d defeated Alberto Nieto Garcia and (denying Rudder any chance at a re-match) Suliman Abu Salem, both double hill.
 
Gregory eliminated Pitts 7-4, and in the quarterfinals, faced Rudder, who’d defeated Keller 9-2. Rudder moved on to down Gregory in those quarterfinals 9-6, and then, Raynes in the semifinals 9-2.
 
Over 22 games in the true double elimination finals, Rudder gave up only four to Sandifer. He took the opening set 9-3, and then, tightened the screws to allow Sandifer only a single rack in the second and deciding set. It had taken Sandifer seven matches to advance to the hot seat. It took Rudder 12 matches to meet him in the finals;  a single win and a loss on the winners’ side and 10 on the loss side. Rudder played two more matches, for a total of 14, and when they were over, Rudder had claimed his first 2018 title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Click’s Billiards, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore, JB Cases, Dallas Eight-Ball League, Outsville (Accu-Rack), Granite Guyz, BCAPL/CSI and Internet Marketing Solutions. The next stop on the Predator DFW 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for July 14-15, will be a $1,700-added event, hosted by The Hideaway in Dallas, TX.