McGee wins GSBT stop, interrupted by tornadoes

Eddie Pate (manager of Fast Eddie's), Larry Faulk, Jared McGee, and Shannon Daulton

It was, by all accounts, the largest outbreak of tornadoes in North Carolina history, and Fast Eddie's Sports Bar in Goldsboro, NC stood right in the southeast to northeast path of the weather front that spawned them. On Saturday night, April 16, as the Great Southern Billiard Tour stop was approaching the end of its opening day, they struck in Goldsboro.

"At one time," said tour director Shannon Daulton, "there was no doubt in my mind that one of them passed right over us. It almost took the roof off. The lights over the tables were shaking."

It stopped play for about 15 minutes, as players examined shelter options, including the space under the tables, which, at one point, co-tour director, Marge Daulton attempted to employ.

"It sounded," said Shannon, "like the building was going to leave here."

Play resumed that night, and without further incident on Sunday, under clear blue skies. By Sunday night, Jared McGee, had come back from the one-loss side to meet and defeat the man who'd sent him over – Larry Faulk – to capture the top prize in the $1,500-added, tornado-ridden event that had drawn 60 entrants to Fast Eddie's in Goldsboro.

McGee and Faulk met first among the winners' side final four, where Faulk prevailed in a double hill battle that put him into the hot seat match. Joining him was Jeff Abernathy, who'd just defeated Delton Howard 11-6. With Abernathy needing to reach 11 games, Faulk survived another double hill battle, 9-10, to gain the hot seat and wait for what turned out to be McGee's return.

First up for McGee in the west bracket was Brad Shearer, who'd defeated Soloman Pope 9-3 and Danny Mastermaker 9-4. Howard drew Vernon Rogers, who'd been sent west in the event's second round, and was in the midst of a seven-game winning streak that would take him all the way to the quarterfinals. With five of those seven in his rearview mirror, Rogers defeated Josh Roberts, double hill, and Tony Williams 7-3 to pick up Howard.

Rogers eliminated Howard 7-7, as McGee was busy dropping Shearer into the tie for fifth place 9-5. McGee then ended Rogers' run 9-4 in the quarterfinals, and Abernathy's 9-5 in the semifinals for a second chance versus Faulk.

McGee took full advantage in the true double elimination final that followed. He won the opening set 9-4, and though Faulk increased the pressure in the second set, McGee prevailed to take the second set 9-6 and the event title.

Daulton thanked the 'powers that be' for the strength and durability of Fast Eddie's in Goldsboro, including its owners and staff, as well as sponsors Nick Varner Cues and Cases, Delta-13 racks, Tiger Products, Mike Davis Extermination, and Andy Gilbert Custom Cues.