Bennett goes undefeated at Jacoby Custom Cue stop

Keith Bennett squeaked by Earl “The Pearl” Strickland in the hot seat match of the Jacoby Custom Cues 9-Ball Tour stop on the weekend of May 15-17, and thanks to Steven Page, didn't have to face him a second time in the finals. Instead, Bennett faced and defeated Page 9-5 in those finals to capture first place in the $1,000-added Open event that drew 40 entrants to Sharks-N-Shooters in Rocky Mount, NC.

From among the winners' side final four, Strickland had defeated Page 7-5 to get into the hot seat match versus Bennett, as Bennett was busy sending Eddie Little west by the same score. Bennett survived the hill-hill hot seat match versus Strickland and knowing that he'd already defeated Page once, expected him to return.

On the one-loss side, Sam Monday and Qi Liu were waiting for Page and Little, respectively. Liu had advanced past Mac Harrell and B.J. Ussery, as Monday got by Michael Fuller and D.J. Outlaw. Page and Little, having been sent west on the basis of 7-5 defeats, turned the tables with 7-5 victories over Monday and Liu and moved into the quarterfinals, where Page advanced for a second chance at Strickland with a 7-2 win.

In yet another 7-5 contest, Page reversed his winners' side defeat at the hands of Strickland and moved into the finals versus Bennett. Bennett got out in front 2-0 and after giving up a single rack, widened his lead to 5-1. Page kept battling back, narrowing Bennett's lead down to three, but Bennett never let him get closer. At 7-4, Bennett won to reach the hill first and though Bennett closed the gap to three one more time, Bennett closed it out and took home the first place prize.

The weekend's events began on Friday night with a Scotch doubles, round robin 8-ball tournament that featured seven teams of five players; each with a professional player as team captain. With 131 points, Cary Dunn led his team of Jackson Jeffreys, Jay Jeffreys, Justin Love, and Brian Floyd to victory. In addition to a $25 gift certificate to a local restaurant, Allen Riley Photographs of Rocky Mount was on hand to take photographs, which were subsequently developed and returned to the members of the seven teams, autographed by the professional captains.

There was also a six-entrant ladies event, won by Karen Webb, who defeated Lea Andrews 9-2 in the finals. A juniors event drew five entrants and was won by Jackson Jeffreys in a 9-5 finals win over Patrick Pipkin. Both qualified for the junior nationals; Jeffreys in the 14 and under division and Pipkin in the 19 and under division. A Sunday afternoon second chance tournament that drew 12 entrants saw Bill Duggan defeat Mac Harrell 7-2 in the finals. Mike Walker and Russell Sasser tied for third place.

As always, Rock City Promotions extended special thanks to the staff and ownership of the host venue – Sharks-N-Shooters – and to OB-1 Cues for supporting the Jacoby tour. The customary raffle cue, donated by Jacoby Custom Cues was won by Dennis Joyner.