Bennett holds off Monday to take GSBT stop in Fayetteville

Shannon Daulton, Keith Bennett, Danny Odom (owner of King Street Billiards), & Sam Monday

Keith Bennett held off a strong challenge from the one-loss side by Sam Monday to take home the first place prize in the Great Southern Billiard Tour stop on the weekend of September 26-27. It was the first time on the tour that two A++ players had squared off in the finals. The $1,500-added, A-B handicapped event drew 32 entrants (including yours truly) to King St. Billiards in Fayetteville, NC.

While Monday had worked successfully through two openings rounds to move among the final eight, Phillip Britt (known as Skip Bo; pronounced Skee-bo, who'd just sent me to the one-loss side) sent Monday over with a 9-8 win (not a hill-hill match; as an A++ player, Monday had to reach 11 before Britt reached 9). Skip Bo went on to defeat Dave Carver 9-6 to get into the hot seat match versus Bennett, who'd just sent Vernon Rogers west 11-2. Bennett sent Skip Bo to a rematch versus Monday in the semifinals.

Over on the one-loss side, Monday began his trip back to the finals with an 11-4 win over Don Strickland and followed it with an 11-5 win over Danny Odom that put him up against Rogers. It was Tony Morrison, with wins over J.R. Post 9-3 and Younger Chapman 9-7, who was waiting for Carver. Monday got by Rogers 11-5 to get into the quarterfinals against Carver, who'd defeated Morrison 9-4.

Monday then dropped Carver into fourth place 11-6 and got a second chance against Skip Bo in the semifinals. It was a different story the second time around, as Monday went on to an 11-5 victory that created the GSBT's first A++ final. It was a tight battle throughout those finals, but Bennett prevailed 11-9 to bring home the first place prize.

Tour director Shannon Daulton has posted the second portion of the GSBT schedule here on AZBilliards, as well as making it available on the tour's own Web site – The tour will stop in Duluth, GA at the Pool Room next weekend, Oct. 3-4.