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Shannon “The Cannon” goes undefeated to win World Cup Billiards Open in Greenville, SC

Shannon Daulton, James Moore (TD), Han Choi and Mike Davis

They were a couple of marquee names in a field of relative unknowns. The $1,380-added World Cup Billiards Open in Greenville, SC, held over the weekend of July 26-27, drew 55 entrants, and to nobody's surprise, Shannon Daulton and Mike Davis faced each other twice; in the hot seat match and finals. Shannon "The Cannon" took both matches to claim the event title, undefeated. Normally to be found tour directing his great Southern Billiard Tour, it was only his third appearance this year in a tournament event (Derby City in January and the Smoky Mountain Shootout in April). 
Little had been seen of Mike Davis since he announced his retirement just prior to the 2013 George "Ginky" Sansouci Memorial Tournament in 2013. He came out of that retirement just long enough to win that Ginky Memorial, defeating Dennis Hatch in the finals. Davis settled down (so to speak) to become a time-share salesman in Florida, only to discover that he wasn't suited for the job. Just recently, he gave it up, and returned to the road, looking to get back into the game.
"It just wasn't for me," he said of his short-lived career as a salesman, "so I'm playing pool again for now."
Though he'd not announced any official retirement, Daulton, too, encountered aspects of getting back into the saddle on his way to this most recent victory at the World Cup Billiards Open. 
"It's very difficult," he said of getting back to the tables as a competitor. "The first day of this one, I was in survival mode. I did a tremendous amount of practicing in my teenage years, and I have to say that I've been very lucky and blessed to be able to survive off whatever natural talent I have when I get into something like this."
According to Daulton, about 90% of the players in this World Cup Billiards Open were people who play on his tour, throughout the year, including a couple that he beat on the way to the hot seat and finals; B.J. Hucks and Wendell Thompkins. "The Cannon" also took down John Jones and found himself in a winners' side semifinal against Travis Dorn. Davis, in the meantime, was facing Andy Twitchen. Daulton got into the hot seat match 11-7 over Dorn and was met by Davis, who'd sent Twitchen to the losers' bracket 11-6. Daulton took the first of two against Davis 11-6 and sat in the hot seat waiting for his return.
"He scratched once on the break," said Davis, "and that was the only mistake he made in that hot seat match."
Dorn and Twitchen moved to the loss side and faced Corey Morphew and Michael Clay, who handed them their second straight defeat; Morphew surviving a double hill match against Dorn, Clay downing Twitchen 7-4. Morphew eliminated Clay 7-3 in the quarterfinals, but was himself eliminated by Davis 7-4 in the semifinals.
From Davis' perspective, punctuating the difficulty of accomplishing pool's version of "climbing back into the saddle," Daulton took an early 6-0 lead against him in the finals.
"That's the type of game I was capable of," said Davis, "but I haven't really played quite up to that standard for a while."
That said, though Daulton went on to win, he won only five of the next 11 games. If they'd cleared the scoreboard with Daulton up 6-0, Davis would have won the subsequent race to 6, on the hill. As it was, Daulton stayed on top and completed his undefeated run to claim his first event title of the year.
Pool rooms interested in having their events become part of the Simonis Cloth Classic Tour, can reach tour representatives at 1-800-200-POOL.

Ussery goes undefeated on GSBT

It was two Double-A battles between B.J. Ussery and Sam Monday on the Great Southern Billiard Tour’s August 13-14 stop in Raleigh, NC, and it was two victories for Ussery, as he completed an undefeated weekend. The $1,500-added event drew 58 entrants to Brown’s Billiards in Raleigh.

Ussery got into the hot seat match with a commanding 7-1 victory over Mike Fuller, as Monday was sending Norris Brady to the west bracket 11-6. In their first of two, battling for the hot seat, Ussery and Monday fought back and forth to double hill before Ussery prevailed, and waited in the hot seat for the re-match.

Over on the one-loss side, Fuller picked up Tommy Cook, who’d defeated Larry Faulk 7-3 and Ian Holt 7-4 to reach him. Brady drew George Crawford, who’d been sent west by Fuller from among the winners’ side final eight and gotten by Ray Floyd 9-4 and Dylan Letchworth 9-5.

Fuller and Crawford got their re-match in the quarterfinals, after Fuller had downed Cook 11-4 and Crawford had squeaked by Brady 9-8. Crawford wreaked his vengeance on Fuller with a second squeaker, a 9-10 victory (Fuller going to 11). Crawford’s four-match winning streak came to an end in the semifinals, at the hands of Monday who, after an 11-8 victory, went on to his own re-match against Ussery.

In a straight-up race to 11, Ussery took the opening set of the true double elimination final against Monday 11-8 to complete his undefeated weekend. It was Ussery’s first win on the GSBT in his second 2011 appearance (he’d finished second in March at Speak Eazy Billiards in Sanford, NC). This most recent victory marked the 10th time since January that Ussery has finished either first or second on either the GSBT or the Jacoby Custom Cue Carolina Tour.

Though not included in site payouts registering dollar amounts, Chris Vollmar, Larry Faulk, Ronny Park, and Ray Floyd received free entries for their 9th place finish. Tour director Shannon Daulton thanked David Huffman and his staff at Brown’s Billiards, as well as sponsors Andy Gilbert Custom Cues, Nick Varner Cues and Cases, Mike Davis Exterminating, Tiger Products, and Delta-13 Racks.