Daulton wins his own GSBT Pro-Am Tour stop

It doesn't happen very often. For the most part, pros are prohibited from participating in the amateur Great Southern Billiard Tour, but on the weekend of October 8-9 at Speak Eazy Billiards in Sanford, NC, as a warm-up for next week's US Open, Tour Director Shannon Daulton opened things up and held a $1,500-added Pro-Am event that drew 71 entrants, with pros racing to 13 against the amateurs.

One of those pros was Daulton himself, who ended up coming back from a loss in the hot seat match to Keith Bennett, to defeat Bennett in a true double elimination final, and win a stop on his own tour. It was the first time since last November at the GSBT Carolina Open/Tour Championships that Daulton had entered his own tournament. He won the One-Pocket event at that tournament and finished fourth in the 9-Ball event. 

Unlike last year's 9-Ball event, at which Daulton came from the loss-side to advance to a quarterfinal match against Johnny Archer, Daulton this time advanced all the way to the hot seat match before Bennett sent him west. Daulton had defeated B.J. Ussery 13-8 for the right to meet Bennett, who'd sent Tony Morrison west 11-3. Bennett got into the hot seat, with an 11-11 victory, reaching his requisite 11 games, before Daulton reached his 13.

Ussery moved over to face Larry Nevel, who'd been sent to the loss-side by Bennett, from among the winners' side final eight, and then defeated Steve Page and Carlos Cruz, both 13-5. Morrison picked up Mike Fuller, who'd shut out Antonio Slaydon and downed Sam Monday 11-4 to reach him.

Nevel got into the quarterfinals with a 13-2 victory over Ussery, while Morrison was busy, barely surviving his match versus Fuller; Fuller had reached his hill mark of 10 games, seven ahead of Morrison, who needed nine. Morrison ran up a six-pack to advance against Nevel, and then eliminated Nevel 9-11.

Daulton, at this point, was reportedly feeling a little under the weather, but in the semifinals, rallied to defeat Morrison 13-2 and set up the double elimination re-match versus Bennett. Daulton took both sets of the final – 13-6, 13-8 – to inscribe his name on the GSBT winners list for the first time in over a year.

Wendell Tomkins, Walt Newsome, Ron Park and Larry Kressel, who finished in a tie for 13th place, earned free entry. Daulton thanked the ownership and staff of Speak Eazy Billiards, as well as sponsors Andy Gilbert Custom Cues, Nick Varner Cues and Cases, Mike Davis Exterminating, Tiger Products and Delta-13 racks. 

Best wishes were also extended to Larry Nevel, who, on the ride home from the tournament, was involved in a serious car accident that overturned his Jeep Grand Cherokee, and sent him to the hospital. Nevel subsequently reported on his Facebook page (texting from his mobile phone on the way home from the ER) that though his car was a total loss, he himself was just "pretty sore with a bunch of cuts and bruises." He wrote later on Monday that he "might have whiplash" and that his arm "was sore to move." He planned on returning to the ER on Tuesday for further evaluation and thanked everyone for the concerns expressed by numerous Facebook friends regarding his accident.