Montal Captures Stan James Montreal

Edwin Montal (R), being congratulated by Tour Director Jim Wych (L)
Montal Captures Stan James Montreal

Edwin Montal cemented his position atop the Stan James Tour Points leaderboard by winning his second tour event in a row in Montreal. Montal was rock solid all weekend and never played a close match until Danny Hewitt took him to the hill well out on the right side of the chart. His last three matches were the toughest he had to fade as after Hewitt he had to get by sharpshooter John Morra twice. First he beat Morra 9-7 to get to the hot seat, and then he beat him again in the finals 11-7.

John Morra has quickly become a force on the tour. This teenager has watched his game come into full flower this year and his introverted style serves him well. He quietly moves around the table and the balls just keep falling for him. On Sunday he first sent Alain Martel to the loser's side, then got shuffled there himself by Montal to face Martel once again. Very few players can say they have beaten Alain Martel twice in one day, but that is just what Morra accomplished. Trailing Martel 5-4 in their second match Morra ran the last five racks to best the Bear 9-5 and travel to the finals to face Montal again for his chance at the championship. While he came up short in that attempt he certainly made a statement with his play that will not be forgotten by the pros who watched him work.

With only a single event remaining on the tour calendar for this season, Edwin Montal has a very respectable 525 to 385 lead over Alain Martel for the top slot. Jeff Kennedy and Danny Hewitt are close behind Martel and the final event in Toronto during the last weekend of April will certainly prove significant. End-of-year positioning determines who attends events such as the World Championships, the World Cup of Pool and the Open (formerly the BCA Open).

Our thanks go out to tour sponsors Stan James Bookmakers, Canada Billiard and Bowling, Simonis Cloth, Aramith billiard balls, and Layani Cues as well as to our hosts at Le Skratch Billiards and Bistro in Brossard.