Lombardo wins first KF Cues stop

Hunter Lombardo (File photo courtesy of Diana Hoppe)

It didn't come easy, but Hunter Lombardo persevered and tallied his first win on the KF Cues Open 9-Ball Tour on the weekend of June 13-14. The Open event drew 30 entrants to Stroker's Billiards in Palm Harbor, FL.

From among the winners' side final four, Lombardo survived two straight hill-hill battles to gain the hot seat. He defeated Julio Aquino to get into the hot seat match as Adam Wheeler was breezing past Louis Altes 7-1. Wheeler took an early lead in the hot seat match that followed, and was ahead by two when he reached the hill 6-4. Lombardo fought back to tie and then win it, sending Wheeler to the semifinals.

Mike Davis, in the meantime, was working his way back on the left side to an eventual matchup in the finals. He gave up only 12 racks in his last 48-game march to the finals and half of those belonged to tour director Tony Crosby, who battled him to hill-hill from among the event's final 12. Davis went on to give up only two to Neil Fujiwara, three to Altes, and none whatsoever to Richard Broumpton, who joined him in the quarterfinal match after wins over Richard Schau 7-6 and Dan Lavoie 7-2. After shutting Broumpton out, Davis dropped Wheeler into third place 7-1 and turned to face Lombardo.

The finals scenario had a Davis victory written all over it; a 35-6 record over his last four games versus an opponent – Lombardo - who'd survived two hill-hill struggles to gain the hot seat and had spent a lot of down time waiting for the finals. None of which phased Lombardo, who took an early lead, which he never relinquished. Ahead by two at 5-3, he maintained that lead to a 9-7 conclusion, wrapping up his first victory on the KF Cues tour.

Jessica Barnes took home a $20 prize for being the top lady finisher in the event.