Free hangs on in true double elimination final to take GSBT stop

hannon Daulton, Marty "Flawless" Free, Mike Templeton, & Mort Walston (owner of Slate Billiards)

Marty Free was a single win away from an undefeated April 17-18 weekend on the Great Southern Billiard Tour, when he ran into Mike Templeton, who'd worked his way from deep in the west bracket to get into the true double elimination final and ultimately, win the opening set. Free came back in the second set to take first place in the $1,500-added event, which had drawn 44 entrants to Slate Billiards in Greenwood, NC. 

From among the winners' side final four, Free defeated Dennis Spears 7-7 (with Spears needing to reach 9), as 16-year-old Tyler Mayfield, obviously not concerned about playing on a school night, sent T.J. Seabolt west 7-4.  Free dominated the hot seat match, winning it 7-1 and hoping (perhaps) that it'd be the teenager coming back from the semifinals, which, as it turned out, it wasn't. 

Templeton, in the meantime, was busy in the west bracket, where he got by Wesley Stokes 7-5 and Brian Wise 7-4 for the right to meet Spears. Seabolt drew Mike Basha, who'd defeated Derrick Horn 7-2 and J.R. Post 7-3. Templeton and Seabolt met in the quarterfinals, once Templeton had downed Spears in a double hill battle and Seabolt eliminated Basha 7-2. Templeton dropped Seabolt into fourth place and then sent the teenager Mayfield home with a 7-2 win in the semifinals. 

With momentum on his side, Templeton opened the true double elimination final with a 7-3 win. Free, however, returned the favor, defeating Templeton in the second set by the same score and capturing the first place prize.