Archive Page

Archer dominates Southeast Open 9-Ball field; stops seven-match, loss side streak by Swope

Johnny Archer

At the end of four rounds of play at the Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour stop on the weekend of February 25-26, Johnny Archer had yet to give up a single rack. He gave up 11 over the next 27 games – four in the battle for the hot seat and seven in the finals – to capture the $1,000-added event that had drawn 34 entrants to a new (and future) venue for the tour, Danny’s Billiards in Baxley, GA.

Tour director Tommy Kennedy sat this one out, which might otherwise have led to a re-match against Archer. The week prior, Archer had defeated Kennedy in the finals of the Andy Grubs Memorial Event at Starcade Billiards in Fort Walton Beach, FL. 

With 34 players filling out a 64-player bracket, most of the first round action entailed ‘byes.’ Archer opened play with shutouts over Mike Matsie, Tom Godwin and J.R. Rossman, which moved him among the winners’ side final four to face Bret Hawes. Rod Rentz, in the meantime, faced Chad Royal. Archer chalked up his fourth straight shutout, over Hawes, to move into the hot seat match versus Rentz, who’d sent Royal west 7-3. Archer gave up his first four racks in a 7-4 win over Rentz, which left him in the hot seat, awaiting John Swope, who would win seven straight on the loss side to meet him in the finals.

On the loss side, with two victories behind him, Swope defeated Gregg Sheffield and Billy Ray, both 7-3, to pick up Hawes. Royal drew Jay Wideman (singled out by Kennedy for what was described as an “outstanding performance”), who won a double hill match over Mark Taber to move into the money rounds, and then won a second double hill battle against J.R. Rossman to meet Royal.

Royal ended Wideman’s bid 7-5 and moved into the quarterfinals versus Swope, who’d downed Hawes 7-4. Swope then defeated Royal by the same 7-4 score and downed Rentz 7-5 in the semifinals.

If Hallmark hasn’t created a sympathy card for a pool player who’s won seven matches on the loss side and then has to face “The Scorpion,” Johnny Archer, in the finals of an event, they should. Swope put up a fight in the extended, race-to-9 finals, but Archer prevailed 9-7 to capture the title.

Prizes were awarded to the top junior, lady and senior player on the tour stop. Mikey Watson picked up the $25 prize for top junior, Lindsay Hunkele took home $25 as the top female, and P.C. Oliver, who finished just out of the money, won $50 as the top-finishing senior.

Tour Director Tommy Kennedy thanked Danny Stell and his staff at Danny’s Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Tiger Products, Mueller Sporting Goods, David Adams, Simonis Cloth, Cliff Manning of Manning Custom Cues, Andy Gilbert Custom Cues, and Robert Harris Custom Cues.