Kolee and Bova split top prizes at 6th Annual Jingle Grind Christmas Classic
Skip Maloney
Dec. 27, 2018
(l to r): Spencer Augbelle, Qais Kolee, Nick Brucato & Kyle Bova
(l to r): Spencer Augbelle, Qais Kolee, Nick Brucato & Kyle Bova
Possibly forgoing the inevitable march of procrastinators searching for gifts three days before Christmas, a hearty crew of 28 entrants braved near-freezing temperatures in Rochester, NY to attend the Western New York Pool Tour’s 6th Annual Jingle Grind Christmas Classic, hosted by Diamond Billiards Bar & Grill in Rochester. At the end of the evening, Qais Kolee, sitting in the hot seat, and Kyle Bova, who’d won five on the loss side to get a shot at him, decided against a final match and split $1,650 in prize money, a decent ‘Merry Christmas’ money for the both of them.
 
Kolee had chalked up three straight 6-3 wins over Luis Bani, Jake Miosi and Geoff Montgomery to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Brad Wesley. Spencer Augbelle, in the meantime, had downed Dave Ricci 6-4, and then survived two straight double hill matches, sending Mark Hadley and Kyle Bova to the loss side. Bova, like Jacob Marley, would return to haunt Augbelle in the semifinals, but for the moment, Augbelle advanced to face Jeremiah Imburgia in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Kolee got into the hot seat match with a 6-4 victory over Wesley, and met up with Augbelle, who’d defeated Imburgia 6-2. Kolee claimed the hot seat and his last victory of the day, 6-4.
 
On the loss side, Wesley picked up Bova, who, following his defeat at the hands of Augbelle, had shut out Nick Cappolla and given up four to Adam Smith. Imburgia drew tour director Nick Brucato, who never did get a chance for a re-match against Wesley, who’d sent him over, but was working on a modest, three-match, loss-side winning streak that included recent wins over Jerry Sullivan 6-3 and Geoff Montgomery 6-4.
 
Brucato’s hopes for a re-match were spoiled by Bova, who shut Wesley out. Brucato joined him in the quarterfinals with a 6-2 win over Imburgia. Bova ended Brucato’s day (competing) with a 6-4 quarterfinal win.
 
Bova and Augbelle’s semifinal re-match proved to be the last match of the event. Bova won it 6-4, and as the undefeated occupant of the hot seat, claimed the event title. The decision to split the final two cash prizes was made, and everybody went home to their respective holiday revels.