Sandifer takes two out of three over Staggs to win Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour season opener

Jeff Sullivan, Greg Sandifer & Randy Staggs

They certainly do things big in Texas. There are any number of pool tours throughout the country that would sell their souls to the devil to draw 50 entrants on any given weekend. And the ones that do draw that many on average would love to have at least an event per month with 80 entrants. The Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour opened its 2023 season with $2,000-added event at Rusty’s in Arlington, TX that drew 100 entrants. The event paid the eight competitors who finished in the tie for 17th place their entry fee and enough gas money to get some of them home, at least one way, possibly both ways dependent on distance traveled.

Greg Sandifer had to get through eight matches (six opponents) to claim the event title, one of which occurred on the loss side of the bracket. After a bye, Sandifer started strong, giving up only five racks to his first three opponents; Ricky Ferguson (2), Robin Barbour (2) and Anna Weems (1). He then downed Clint Freeman 9-4 and drew Johnny Garcia in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Randy Staggs, in the meantime, destined to face Sandifer three times, got by Steven Thorne (3), Jimmy Fujimori (2), Tony Matthew (4), Don Baker double hill (7-5), and Mark Lawson (5) to draw Telly Shackelford in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Staggs battled Shackelford to double hill before closing it out and advancing to the hot seat match. Sandifer joined him after sending Garcia to the loss side 8-5. Staggs took the first of his three against Sandifer 7-2 and claimed the hot seat.

On the loss side, Shackelford picked up Clint Freeman, who’d followed his loss to Sandifer with a 9-6 victory over Ryan Lane and a shutout versus Brandon Denman. Garcia drew Jeff Sullivan, who’d defeated Tony Top 8-3 and Mark Lawson 8-2 to reach him.

Sullivan advanced to the quarterfinals 8-2 over Garcia and was joined by Shackelford, who’d eliminated Freeman 8-4. In a straight-up race to 8, Shackelford and Sullivan battled to double hill in those quarterfinals before Sullivan advanced to meet Sandifer. Sandifer got a second and necessary third shot at Staggs with an 8-5 semifinal win over Sullivan.

With Sunday night moving into Monday morning, Sandifer took the opening set of the true double elimination final 8-4 over Staggs. He claimed the event title with an 8-2 victory in the second set.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Rusty’s for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Cuetec, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore and Rasson Billiards. The next stop (#2) on the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the weekend of February 18-19, will be hosted by Tailgaters (formerly Snookered) in Frisco, TX.

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