Shearer hangs on to win GSBT stop in Georgia

Shannon Daulton, Brad Shearer, Benny Conway, Jr., & Darryl Gables (owner of Chalk It Up Billiards)

Brad Shearer came back from a first set defeat versus Bennie Conway, Jr. in a true double elimination final to capture the top prize in the Great Southern Billiard Tour stop on the weekend of August 28-30. The $6,500 total-guaranteed-purse handicapped amateur event drew 74 entrants to Chalk It Up Billiards in La Grange, GA. The finals were broadcast on UStream late Sunday night.

From among the winners' side final four, Shearer survived a hill-hill match against Adam Pendley with a 7-8 win to get into the hot seat match. (Pendley had to reach 9, before Shearer reached 7). Conway, in the meantime, got by Steve Wiggins 10-6. With Conway, an AA player, needing to get to 10, before Shearer, a B, reached 7, the match was over on a tie 7-7 with Shearer left in the hot seat, waiting for Conway's return..

On the one-loss side, it was Daniel McKinney waiting for Pendley and John Macias waiting for Wiggins. Pendley got into the quarterfinals with a 9-6 win over McKinney, as Macias was dropping Wiggins into the tie for fifth place 10-5. Pendley and Macias battled to hill-hill in the quarterfinals, before Pendley prevailed and moved into the semifinals versus Conway. Conway, acting like a man on a mission, allowed Pendley only one rack in that semifinal and moved in for a second chance at Shearer.

Shearer opened the first set of the finals with a win, but Conway came right back to tie it. Conway won the third game and then sunk five balls on the next break, including the 9 ball, to make it 3-1. Shearer jumped the 5-ball to keep his run going in the fifth rack and pulled within one at 3-2. At this juncture, Conway started to shoot as though he were late for a date and ran four racks in a row to make it 7-2. He'd have made it 8-2, if he hadn't given himself a bad shot on the 9, which he twinked off the tip of the side pocket, handing Shearer game 10. It was the last game of the set for Shearer. Conway won three in a row to finish it.

In the second set, with Conway still on ‘speed dial,' he took the first three racks, to create, in effect, a race to seven. Shearer sunk a 3-9 combo on the next rack to get on the board. They traded racks to 4-2 and Shearer pulled to within a game at 4-3. Shearer, attempting a safety, left the 7-ball exposed, Conway finished the table and it was 5-3. Conway won the next rack to make it 6-3 and set up a race to four for the win.

In the next two racks, Shearer took advantage of combinations off of the 2-ball, including a 2-3-9 combo, which put him up 2-0 in the closing race to four. He ran the next rack to reach the hill and then closed things out with a strong break and run.