Kennedy comes back from semifinals to win first stop on his 2012 Tiger Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour

Tommy Kennedy likes to play from behind. He doesn't recommend it as a strategic option, but for him, being behind in a tournament or individual match tends to focus him in ways that large leads don't.  He utilized this preference to return from the semifinals of the first 2012 stop on his Tiger Southeast Open 9-Ball tour, on Sunday, January 8, and defeat hot seat occupant, Mike Davis, who'd sent him to the semifinals. The $5,000-added event drew 47 entrants to Veteran's Billiards in Port Charlotte, FL.

From among the winners' side final four, Kennedy sent Danny Green west with a commanding 11-1 victory that included seven 9-balls on the break (which failed to count, since they failed to enter either the side pocket or the corner pockets from which he broke).  Davis, in the meantime, prevailed in a double hill battle that sent Stoney Stone to the loss side. In their first of two, Davis defeated Kennedy 11-9, and sat in the hot seat awaiting his return.

Green moved over to pick up Justin Hall, who'd defeated Steve Giedraitisz 9-7 and Han Berber in a double hill match. Stone drew Josh Lewis, who'd gotten by Trey Jankowski 9-5 and Ray Linares 9-6. Green and Stone made short work of their first, loss-side opponents; Green eliminating Hall 9-6, Stone defeating Lewis 9-2. 

Stone defeated Green 9-4 in the quarterfinals that followed, and then fell to Kennedy by the same score in the semifinals. Kennedy's 'plan' (coming from behind) was in full swing.

Davis opened the single race to 13 finals with two in a row, and Kennedy responded with four racks that gave him the lead. Davis tied it up, and Kennedy responded with four to go up 8-4. Davis came right back with four of his own to tie things at 8-8, but they'd prove to be the last four games he'd win. Kennedy won the next five, with a couple of 'break and runs' for good measure to secure the event victory.

"When I'm either even or down, I play better, because I bear down more," said Kennedy the next day. "When it got to 8-8, I figured, OK, it's a race to five now, and I just took advantage of the opportunities when they presented themselves."

At the conclusion of the tournament, Mike Davis was presented with a Tiger Southeast Open 9-Ball 'Greatest Attitude' award, which added a trophy with that achievement inscribed on it to his second place winnings

"He was really happy about the award," said Kennedy. "He'd told me that he'd gotten trophies for winning tournaments before, but never anything like that."