Futrell wins GSBT stop, Hawkins wins free entry to US Open

Chris Futrell, Shannon "The Cannon" Daulton, and Lucas Hawkins

A free entry into next month's US Open 9-Ball Championships was at stake when the Great Southern Billiard Tour dropped into Barry Behrman's Q-Master Billiards on the weekend of September 17-18. Lucas Hawkins almost won it outright, returning from the semifinals to meet hot seat occupant Chris Futrell, and taking the opening set of a true double elimination final. Futrell, though, took the second set to secure the event title. Since Futrell had already earned free entry to the Open by winning a previous qualifier, this event's free entry went to Hawkins in second place. The $1,500-added (plus US Open entry fee) event drew 60 entrants to Q-Master Billiards, in Virginia Beach, VA.

Hawkins got into the hot seat match on the heels of a double hill win that sent Tim Miller west. Futrell, in the meantime, won two straight by the same 11-4 score. He sent Alex Olinger to the loss-side that way, and then sat in the hot seat, after sending Hawkins over.

Miller moved over to meet Larry Kressel, who'd been sent west by Futrell when they'd met among the winners' side final eight, and was in the midst of a five-game winning streak that started with victories over Jason Stewart 11-5, and Danny Mastermaker 11-6. Olinger picked up Jerry Clayman, who'd defeated Mike Conway, Jr. 7-2, and Ryan Stone, in a double hill match. It was Kressel and Olinger moving on to the quarterfinals; Kressel with an 11-5 win over Miller and Olinger 11-6 over Clayman.

Kressel then dropped Olinger into fourth place 11-6 and faced Hawkins in the semifinals, where his loss-side streak would come to an end 9-9 (Kressel needing to reach 11 games). Hawkins moved on to take the opening set of the true double elimination final, double hill, and then give way to Futrell, who chalked up an 11-4 win in the second set to secure the victory.

Tour director Shannon Daulton thanked Barry and Shannon Behrman, and the entire staff at Q-Master Billiards, as well as sponsors Andy Gilbert Custom Cues, Nick Varner Cues and Cases, Mike Davis Exterminating, Tiger Products, and Delta-13 Racks.