Song and Najar win dual events on Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour

Paul Song and Tommy Najar went undefeated and won back-to-back events, held on Saturday and Sunday, March 19-20, on the Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour. Song took the $500-added Saturday event, which drew 32 entrants to Mr. Cues Billiards, in Atlanta, GA. Najar won the $500-added event on Sunday, which drew 18.

Song defeated Mark Shimmelman twice to win Saturday's event. They defeated both of their winners' side final four opponents 7-2 (Song over Dave Maddux, Shimmelman over Tommy Najar) to face each other first in the battle for the hot seat. Song then sent Shimmelman to the semifinals and sat in the hot seat, waiting for his return.

Over on the one-loss side, Jeff Crawford, originally sent west in the opening round by Najar, was on a seven-game march to the semifinals. He drew Maddux, fresh off the winners' side final four, and defeated him 7-2 to face Clay Medlock, who'd defeated Najar, double hill. Crawford chalked up a second straight 7-2 victory, this time over Medlock, completing his seven-game streak. Shimmelman ended that streak with a 7-3 victory in the seminfinals, and then fell a second time in the single race-to-11 finals against Song 11-3.

Najar reversed his $50 (5th place) fortunes of Saturday by going undefeated and winning Sunday's 18-entrant event. As he'd done the day before, he got among the winners' side final four, but this time, he advanced to the hot seat, defeating first, Bo Bellew 7-2. Jason Stemen, who'd just sent Jeff Crawford west 7-1, met Najar in the hot seat match. Najar moved into the hot seat with a 7-4 victory over Stemen and waited for him to come back.

Crawford, with a slightly shorter road ahead of him than he had faced the day before, met up first with Steve Spain, who'd defeated Mike Matsie 5-1 to reach him. Bellew picked up KC Joiner, who'd gotten by Timothy Orange 5-3. It was Crawford and Joiner advancing to the quarterfinals; Crawford with a 5-1 victory over Spain, Joiner with a double hill win over Bellew. Crawford supplemented his third place finish on Saturday with a fourth place finish on Sunday, falling 5-3 to Joiner, who moved on to face Stemen in the semifinals.

Stemen got a second crack at Najar with a 5-3 win in the semifinals over Joiner. As Sunday night turned into very early Monday morning, Najar and Stemen locked up in a race-to-9, double hill match. Najar sunk the last ball to take top honors in the Sunday event.

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