Kennedy ousts Putnam in Southeast Open stop

Tommy Kennedy

Tommy Kennedy got by Shawn Putnam twice, on his way to a victory on his own Southeast Open 9-Ball tour on the weekend of September 26-27. The $1,500-added Open portion of the event drew 35 entrants to the Southside Billiard Club in Savannah, GA. A $500-added amateur event, won by David Crocker, ran concurrently and drew 29 entrants.

Kennedy and Putnam first locked cues among the winners' side final four. Kennedy sent Putnam over to the battle for fifth place 9-5 to face Mike Staubes in the hot seat match. Staubes had sent J.R. Rossman west 9-7. Kennedy gained the hot seat with a 9-3 win over Staubes and waited for what turned out to be Putnam's return.

Putnam's move to the one-loss side set him up against Ron Park, who'd gotten by Sam Staats and Ben Sadowski from among the event's final 12. Rossman faced Jim Rushing, who'd defeated Kevin Caruso and Chad Stokes. Putnam and Rossman advanced to the quarterfinals with identical 9-5 wins over Park and Rushing. Putnam dropped Rossman into fourth place 9-2 and did the same thing to Staubes in the semifinal match that followed.

Retribution was in the air, not only in terms of Putnam's second shot at Kennedy in this tournament, but in light of the fact, as well, that in their last few meetings, including the US Open last year, Putnam had been the victor. The two battled back and forth through the opening games, with Putnam (according to Kennedy) making some ‘ridiculous' kick shots and successfully utilizing his jump cue. Tied at 6-6, Kennedy edged out in front by two racks, and then added two more, to Putnam's one, to reach the hill at 10-7. Kennedy watched as a ball in the eighteenth rack drifted a little further than he'd expected, and he was hooked. With ball in hand, Putnam finished the rack and then on the subsequent break, dropped the 9-ball. At 10-9, the two struggled back and forth over the first two balls before Kennedy hooked Putnam on a shot at the 3-ball. Putnam missed and with ball in hand, Kennedy ran the table to finish it.

Crocker picked up the $460 first place prize in the amateur event with a hill-hill, 7-6 finals victory over Billy Holmes. Holmes took home $300 for second place. John Hill finished in third place ($200) and Larry Lee finished fourth ($150).