Raulston takes 7th annual Bobby Wells Memorial in Wichita

Chuck Raulston, Joyce Wells, Evelyn Dysart, Gabe Owen

Chuck Raulston went undefeated through a field of 70 entrants, on hand for the 7th annual Bobby Wells Memorial tournament, held on the weekend of June 26-27. The $2,500-added Midwest 9-Ball Tour event, hosted by Side Pockets in Wichita, KS, commemorated the auctioning contributions of Bobby “The Voice” Wells, a Wichita native, who passed away eight years ago.  

Raulston had to defeat Gabe Owen twice to take home the prize. He did it first among the winners' side final eight, sending Owen west 9-7. Owen fought back to win five matches in a row on the one-loss side and come within a game of defeating Raulston in the finals.  Raulston got into the hot seat match with a 9-6 victory over Sean Turner, as Junior Brown moved to join him with a double hill win over Mark Showalter.  Raulston gained the hot seat with a 9-5 victory over Brown and waited for what turned out to be Owen's return. 

Owen opened his five-match return to the finals with a 9-5 victory over Jerry Reardon. He followed that with a 9-4 win over K.C. Massey, that set him up to face Showalter. Turner drew Chip Compton, who'd defeated DanToman and Joey Gray, both 9-5.  Owen dropped Showalter into the tie for fifth place 9-4, as Compton chalked up his third straight 9-5 win, to eliminate Turner. Owen gave up only a single rack to Compton in the quarterfinals that followed, and then, defeated Brown 9-4 in the semifinals.  

Owen had to defeat Raulston twice in the true double elimination format of the finals, and was thinking ahead to a second set when he reached the hill in the first set, ahead by five games. Raulston, though, shrugged it off and settled in to win the next six games, snatching the potential victory from Owen's hands.