Dechaine comes from one-loss side to best Kennedy in SE Open Final

Mike Dechaine (File photo courtesy of Mitch Heydt)

Mike Dechaine came from the one-loss side to defeat tour director Tommy Kennedy in the finals of the Southeast Open 9-Ball Tournament on the weekend of November 7-8. The $1,000-added event drew 15 entrants to Ultimate Billiards in Fort Pierce, FL.  A $500-added amateur event drew 17 on Sunday and was won by Anthony Meglino in a 9-0 victory over Prescott Buckwold in the finals. Johnny Aguilar finished third in the amateur event. Matt Holland finished fourth.

Dechaine advanced among the winner's side final eight before heading west on the heels of a victory by Jerry Calderon. Calderon went on to defeat Hunter Lombardo in a hill-hill matchup, before giving way to Kennedy, who'd sent Mike Hutcheson west 7-5, and then gained the hot seat with 7-4 win over Calderon.

Dechaine began his six-victory march to the winners' circle with a win over Mike Bradford and followed it with a win over Randy Epperson, that put him up against Hutcheson.  Curtis Kelly, in the meantime, was moving past Sam Staats and Meglino (who played in both events) for the right to square off against Lombardo. Lombardo defeated Kelly 7-4, as Dechaine got by Hutcheson 7-5, and the two met in the quarterfinals. With the races now advanced to nine games, Dechaine dropped Lombardo into fourth place 9-7, earning him a second chance at the man who'd sent him to the one-loss side, Calderon.  Dechaine battled to a 9-6 win and turned to face Kennedy.

An early 3-0 lead for Dechaine was erased by Kennedy, and the two battled back and forth to an 8-8 tie in the final race to 11. Dechaine won the 17th game and Kennedy broke for the chance to tie it back up. The 1-ball dropped on the break and Kennedy lined up a shot that saw the 2-ball travel three rails and drop in. Unfortunately, the cue ball continued to travel and dropped into a side pocket, giving Dechaine ball-in-hand and the opportunity to run out, which he did, putting him on the hill. A 1-9 combination after the subsequent break sealed the deal for Dechaine.

“He played really well,” said Kennedy. “He made some great cuts and a lot of tricky shots to win it.”