Applebee and Griffin split top prizes on Sunshine State Pro Am season finale
Skip Maloney
Dec. 5, 2018
(l to r): Nick Applebee, Tommy Kennedy & Mike Griffin
(l to r): Nick Applebee, Tommy Kennedy & Mike Griffin
White and Grossman split top prizes in Amateur event
 
The season finale of the Sunshine State Pro Am tour, held on the weekend of Dec. 1-2, saw both the Open/Pro and Amateur finalists opt out of a final match. In the $500-added Open/Pro event on Saturday (the tour’s Open 9-Ball Championships), which drew 31 entrants, hot seat occupant Nick Applebee and Mike Griffin (at approximately 4 a.m.) let their first meeting in the battle for the hot seat stand as the determining title match. In the $300-added, Amateur event on Sunday, which drew 22 entrants, it was hot seat occupant Thomas White and challenger David Grossman, who did the same thing. Both events were hosted by Park Ave. Billiards in Orange Park, FL.
 
In the Open/Pro event, Applebee got by Michell Monk, Jay Stock and Jeannie Seaver to draw Bobby Garza in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Mike Griffin, in the meantime, opened his campaign against the tour’s top junior of the year, Trenton White. After defeating him, Griffin moved on to send Thomas White (official winner of the Amateur event) and Asia Cy to the loss side, to face David Grossman in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Griffin got into the hot seat match with a 7-4 win over Grossman. Applebee and Garza locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Applebee to the hot seat match and Garza to the loss side. Applebee claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Griffin.
 
On the loss side, Grossman and Garza had the misfortune of running into two competitors who’d lost their opening round matches and were in the midst of a five-match, loss-side winning streak. Garza drew Tommy Kennedy, who’d lost his opening match, double hill to Jordan Burden and most recently had defeated Asia Cy 7-5 and Cody Booth 7-1 to draw Garza. Grossman picked up Anthony Meglino, who’d lost his opening round match to Adam Saaidi, and had most recently eliminated Jeannie Seaver 7-2 and just did survive a double hill fight against Shannon Fitch.
 
Kennedy downed Garza 7-2 and in the quarterfinals, faced Meglino, who’d survived his second straight double hill match, versus Grossman. Meglino ended up on the wrong end of his third straight double hill match and was defeated by Kennedy in those quarterfinals. Looking for his eighth straight loss-side win and a shot at Applebee in the hot seat, Kennedy fell to Griffin 7-5. Griffin and Applebee opted out of the final and the Open/Pro weekend was over.
 
White and Grossman let hot seat result stand
 
Thomas White, who ended up in the tie for 13th place in the Open/Pro event, won the hot seat match in the Amateur event over David Grossman, who had finished in the tie for 5th place in the Open/Pro event. Though Grossman won his semifinal match, he and White opted out of an Amateur final, which allowed White, as the undefeated occupant of the hot seat, to claim the official event title.
 
White advanced through the 22-entrant field to arrive at a winner’ side semifinal against Aaron Sikes. Grossman drew Scott Rohleder in the other one. Grossman advanced to the hot seat match 7-4 over Rohleder, while White downed Sikes 7-1 to join him. White and Grossman battled to double hill to claim the hot seat, which White eventually did, in what proved to be his last match.
 
On the loss side, Rohleder picked up Open/Pro winner, Nick Applebee, while Sikes drew Bobby Garza (5th/6th in the Open/Pro). Rohleder advanced to the quarterfinals with a double hill win over Applebee. He was joined by Garza, who’d benefited from a forfeit by Sikes.
 
Garza then eliminated Rohleder 5-1 before falling to Grossman in the semifinals 6-2. White and Grossman opted out of the final and the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour’s season finale was in the books.
 
In addition to the two tournaments, the tour announced its three award winners – Anthony Meglino as Player of the Year, Kelly Cavanaugh as Lady of the Year and Trenton White as the year’s top junior player.
 
Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked the ownership and staff at Park Avenue Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Kamui, Cyclop Balls, Diamond, Play The Game clothing, AZ Billiards, Jacksonville Roofing USA, Inc. and Inside Pool TV. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour will be its season opener, scheduled for January 5-6, 2019 at Stroker’s Billiards in Palm Harbor, FL. It will include a 9-ball Amateur event and the tour’s 10-ball Invitational Tournament for its top 16 players.