Hawkins holds off Park to win Great Southern Billiard Tour stop

Shannon Daulton, Lucas Hawkins, Ron Park, Jeff Peele (owner of Kylie's Sports Bar and Grill)

Lucas Hawkins held off a strong challenge from Ron Park, working from the one-loss side, to win the Great Southern Billiard Tour's stop on the weekend of July 31-Aug. 1. The $1,500-added event, sponsored by Nick Varner Cues and Cases, drew 48 entrants to Kylie's Sports Bar and Grill in Cornelius, NC. 

All three of the matches among the winners' side final four were double-hill contests. Hawkins got by Glenn Russell that way to get into the hot seat match. Josh Newman joined him after sending David Stewart west the same way. Newman and Hawkins then battled it out, with Hawkins prevailing to await the return of Park. 

On the one-loss side, Park was working his way back from a 9-5 defeat at the hands of Russell from among the winners' side final eight. He took down B.J. Ussery 7-6 in the first of his five wins to get back to the finals. He then defeated Alex Olinger 7-5 and missed a rematch versus Russell when he drew Stewart instead. Russell, in the meantime, had drawn Brian White, who'd defeated Marty Free 9-2 and Sam Monday 9-5. Russell dropped into the tie for fifth place in his second straight hill-hill battle, as Park was busy defeating Stewart 7-3. 

Park had a two-game advantage over White in the quarterfinals that followed. Each chalked up seven racks in the contest, but it was Park advancing to the semifinals versus Newman.   

Newman was looking for his second GSBT win of the year at Kylie's (his third, overall), where in May, he'd been sent west by Glenn Russell in the hot seat match and faced Park in those semifinals.  He defeated Park soundly 9-2 in that match and went on to double dip Russell to win the event.  Not to be this second time around. 

The veteran Park, who was playing in tournaments with the likes of Nick Varner when Newman was in the first grade, dropped Newman into third place 7-4 and turned to face Hawkins.  

Park needed to win two, but Hawkins made a second set unnecessary. He won the opening set 9-4 to take his first win on the GSBT tour.