McAuliffe goes undefeated to win Tony Mendonca Memorial on New England 9-Ball Series

Mike Selig, Kerry McAuliffe and John Vitale

Kerry McAuliffe may have begun his title quest for the New England 9-Ball Series’ Tony Mendonca Memorial Tournament with a bit of a struggle, but he held on to complete that quest by going undefeated. The $500-added (Stop #18) event drew 16 entrants to Stroker’s Billiards in Pelham, NH. 

The early-event struggle began with an upper bracket, double hill battle versus Daniel Simoneau, and was followed by a match against tour director Marc Dionne, in which he gave up only two racks. From that point, over the next three matches it took him to claim the title, he gave up only four total racks, all of them to John Vitale, whom he met and defeated twice.

Following McAuliffe’s victory over Dionne, he faced Vitale for the first time in one of the winners’ side semifinals, while lower bracket competitors Michael Selig and Neal Katz faced off in the other one. In their first of two, McAuliffe shut Vitale out. Selig joined McAuliffe in the hot seat match after downing Katz 7-1. McAuliffe shut Selig out, as well, to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Vitale picked up Dionne, who, following his defeat at the hands of McAuliffe, had eliminated Jodie Thompson, double hill and Mark Morgan 5-2. Katz drew Rebecca Welch, who’d lost her opening match to Jeffrey Sheehan and was in the midst of a four-match, loss-side winning streak that had included a forfeit win, as well active victories over Stacy Hamel and Bob Campbell, both 4-1.

Vitale decided that it was time to join the ‘shutout’ party and eliminated Dionne that way, while Welch gave up only a single rack to Katz and joined Vitale in the quarterfinals. Vitale gave up just one rack to Welch in those quarterfinals.

Back in shutout mode again, Vitale downed Selig, earning himself a second shot against McAuliffe, waiting for him in the hot seat. Their straight-up race to 6 came within a game of double hill, but McAuliffe edged out in front at the end and claimed the Tony Mendonca Memorial title 6-4.

Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Strokers, as well as sponsors Predator, Poison, Arcos II, BCAPL, USAPL New England, Fargo Rate, AZBilliards, Professor Q-ball’s National Pool and 3-Cushion News, MJS Construction, Master Billiards, OTLVISE, Outsville, Salotto and Just The Tip Cue Repair and Custom Accessories. The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series (#19), scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 20, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Crow’s Nest in Plaistow, NH.