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From the loss side, Rodriguez chalks up first Sunshine State Pro Am Tour victory in three years

Mike DeLawder, Trenton White and Ricardo Joel Rodriguez

Barnes goes undefeated to claim concurrently-run Ladies event

One did it the hard way, while the other opted for the shorter, arguably more difficult easy way. Ricardo Rodriguez, looking for his first win on the Sunshine State ProAm Tour in three years, lost his third winners’ side match at this past weekend’s (Oct. 8-9) tour stop He then won seven straight on the loss side before downing Trenton White in the finals to claim the event title. Jessica Barnes took the shorter route in the concurrently-run Ladies event, winning five in a row and downing Nicole Cuellar twice to claim the ladies’ title.

The $1,500 added main event drew 60 entrants to Brewlands Bar & Billiards North in Lakeland, FL. The $500-added Ladies event drew 16 entrants to the same location.

Rodriguez’ path took him past Marcos Bielostozky and George Saunders, both 7-5, before he ran into a double hill match versus Desi Derado that he lost. Mike DeLawder and Trenton White, in the meantime, worked their way forward toward their hot seat match; White advancing through Mike Xiarhos, Jr., Leon Micco, Dale Stanley and Konnor McFayden to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Robert Noon, while DeLawder sent Anthony Cruz, co-tour-director Bobby Garza, and both Manuel Montas and John Souders (both double hill) to the loss side to draw Ameet Kukadia in the other winners’ side semifinal.

DeLawder came within a game of being forced into his third straight double hill fight, but just did edge out in front near the end to defeat Kukadia 7-5. White joined him in the hot seat match after surviving his double hill struggle against Noon. White shut Delawder out to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, it was Kukadia who drew the finals-bound Rodriguez, who’d just eliminated junior competitors Kaylee McIntosh 7-2 and Konnor McFayden 7-4. Noon picked up David Singleton, who’d defeated John Souders 7-3 and survived a double hill match versus Garza to reach him.

Rodriguez defeated Kukadia 7-5 and was joined in the quarterfinals by Noon, who’d put Singleton on the wrong side of his second straight double-hill match. Rodriguez took the quarterfinal match 7-5 over Noon and then, by the same score, denied DeLawder his second chance against White.

Rodriguez waste little time. He took the finals against White 9-5 to claim the event title

Nicole Cuellar, Sofia Mast and Jessica Barnes

Barnes gets into a 7-3 groove to the hot seat match

Jessica Barnes seemed to decide that since she had gotten herself into a groove of some kind that she should probably stick with it. She defeated her first three opponents on her way to the Ladies win by the same 7-3 score, defeating co-tour-director Janene Phillips, Erica Pennington and, in a winners’ side semifinal, the Pink Dagger (aka junior competitor Sofia Mast). Nicole Cuellar, in the meantime, got by Sandra Micco, Cami Becker and in her winners’ side semifinal, Margie Soash 7-1.

Cuellar knocked Barnes out of her 7-3 groove in the hot seat match, but it wasn’t enough. Barnes survived Cuellar’s double hill challenge to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Soash picked up and was defeated by Helen Caukin 5-1, as The Pink Dagger drew and eliminated Kaylee McIntosh by the same score. Mast defeated Caukin 5-2 in the quarterfinals, only to have her brief, loss-side run upset by Cuellar’s desire for a rematch against Barnes. Cuellar won that battle 5-1. Barnes downed Cuellar a second time, 9-5, to claim the Ladies title.

Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked Larry Wathall and his staff at Brewlands “for taking great care (them) all weekend,” as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Kamui Brand, Diamond Billiard Products, Jamison Daniels, Stitch It To Me Embroidery, AZBilliards, Dr. V’s Custom Shop and Central Florida Pool League. ‘Shout outs’ were extended to Bobby Garza and Lights Out Streaming for providing great stream and commentary, along with Jimmy Antonietta, Rob McLaren, Mike D and George Saunders for their commentating and  Adam Hanas for helping run the boards. 

In light of the fact that the tour had a junior competitor among the final three in both of this past weekend’s events (Trenton White and Sofia Mast) and because, like so many others,  who enjoy watching these young competitors succeed in their early pool careers, Phillips and Garza thanked Asia Cy for donating an entry fee to a junior lady, Leah Holler and wished to make mention of two local individuals who are “doing great things for the junior competitors’ –  Danielle Fee with Shooting for the Stars and Eddie Altman with Junior Billiards Scholarship Fund. If you’d like to help support a junior program, reach out to either of these organizations.

The next and final stop of the year for the Sunshine State ProAm Tour, scheduled for the weekend of Nov. 26-27 and hosted by Racks Billiards in Sanford, FL will feature two events; a $1,000-added Open One Pocket event and a $2,500-added Open 9-Ball Bar Box Championship. 

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Buckley wins seven on the loss side to take Pro division title on Sunshine State Pro Am tour

Jason Sheerman, Donny Branson & Benji Buckley

Adams goes undefeated in Amateur event
 
Stop # 9 on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour featured separate tournaments held on the weekend of November 18-19. A $1,000-added Open 10-Ball event drew 57 entrants, and saw Benji Buckley win seven on the loss side to meet and defeat hot seat occupant Donny Branson in the finals. On the Amateur side, in a $500-added, 9-ball event, James Adams went undefeated through a field of 43. Both events were hosted by Capone’s in Spring Hill, FL.
 
Buckley’s trip to the finals was moving along on the winners’ side of the bracket, commencing with a victory over the Amateur event winner, James Adams, and then, through James Sandaler, before coming up against Rodney Morris. Morris sent Buckley to the loss side 7-3, before following him over on the heels of a 6-4 win by Jason Sheerman in a winners’ side quarterfinal. Sheerman moved on to a winners’ side semifinal against Jerry Sullivan, while Branson faced Murbarak Sulaiman.
 
Sheerman and Branson advanced to the hot seat match without giving up a single rack to either Sullivan or Sulaiman. Branson then defeated Sheerman 7-3 and sat in the hot seat, waiting for Buckley to complete his loss-side campaign.
 
Buckley began his loss-side work battling in one of the matches that determined the eight-way tie for 17th place. He got by Travis Croft, Mark Wathen, Nathan Rose, and Donny Mills to draw Sullivan. Sulaiman drew Anthony Meglino, who’d been defeated in the second winners’ side round by Sheerman (double hill) and set out on his own seven-match, loss-side winning streak that included wins over Joseph Remos, Jason Richko, Bill Bloom, Tommy Kennedy, Jessica Human and Rodney Morris, before drawing Sulaiman.
 
Buckley advanced to the quarterfinals 7-3 over Sullivan, as Sulaiman ended Meglino’s loss-side streak the way his winners’ side streak had been ended by Sheerman, in a double hill match. Buckley then defeated Sulaiman 7-2 in the quarterfinals, and got his shot at Branson in the hot seat with a 7-4 win over Sheerman in the semifinals.
 
Buckley and Branson battled back and forth through the finals. Buckley edged ahead at the end to claim the event title 11-9.
 
Adams goes undefeated in Amateur event
 
James Adams faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals of the Amateur event. He advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Moe Fattah, as Estel Walton faced Ricardo Rodriguez in the other one. Adams downed Fattah 7-5, and in the hot seat match, faced Walton, who’d sent Rodriguez west 7-4. Adams claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Walton and waited on what turned out to be the return of Adams.
 
On the loss side, Rodriguez and Fattah got right back to winning. Rodriguez defeated Sam Kantar 5-1, as Fattah advanced to meet him in the quarterfinals with a double hill win over Jeremy Bell.
 
Rodriguez defeated Fattah in the quarterfinals 5-2, and then shut out Walton in the semifinals. Adams put an end to Rodriguez’ short, loss-side winning streak 9-7 in the finals to claim the event title.
 
In addition to the prize money awarded to the finishers in each tournament, the Amateur event awarded $20 each to the top Junior finisher – Kodi Allen – and top female finisher – Kelly Cavanaugh. The Open event awarded $40 to the top female finisher, Jessica Human.
 
Tour director Janene Phillips offered special thanks to Rocky McElroy, owner of Capone’s, and his staff, as well as McDermott Cues for donating a cue for an event raffle. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for December 16-17, will be the tour’s Season Finale, which will be hosted by Park Avenue Billiards in Orange Park, FL.
 

TK-FLA chalks up another one

(l to r): Tommy Kennedy, Mike Delawder and Ricardo Rodriguez

It’s been 25 years since Tommy Kennedy defeated Johnny Archer twice to win the US Open 9-Ball Championships in 1992. And he’s still bringing it, most recently, on November 11, when he chalked up his fourth win on his own J. Pechauer Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour, to go along with the two victories he recorded on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour this year. This most recent win came in a $1,000-added event that drew 34 entrants to Uncle Waldo’s in Daytona Beach, FL.
 
Kennedy had to come from the loss side, albeit for only a single match, to take this one, and split two matches against long-time, familiar adversary Mike Delawder. Kennedy had defeated Ricardo Rodriguez 9-4 to get into the hot seat match as Delawder was sending David Grossman over 9-2. Delawder claimed the hot seat 9-7 and waited for Kennedy to get back from the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, Rodriguez picked up Anthony Meglino, who’d defeated Chris Argenta and Gary Gilsinan, both 7-2 to reach him. Grossman drew Jim Sandaler, who’d eliminated Omar Alli 7-1, and David Singleton 7-3.
 
Grossman punctuated his determination to move on with a shutout over Sandaler. Rodriguez, in the meantime, joined him in the quarterfinals with a 7-3 win over Meglino. Rodriguez then got the second shot against Kennedy that he was looking for with a 7-4 win over Grossman in that quarterfinal match.
 
TK-FLA, though, defeated Rodriguez a second time; this time, 7-3 to earn himself a second shot at Delawder in the hot seat. By mutual agreement, they agreed to make it a race to 7, and Kennedy won it 7-3 to claim the event title.
 
As tour director, Kennedy thanked the Condercuri family (father Tony, wife Patty and son, AJ), owners of Uncle Waldo’s for their hospitality, and sponsors J. Pechauer Custom Cues, Mueller Billiard Supplies and BilliardBuzz.com. He also thanked Anthonies Fisher and Meglino for their assistance throughout the tournament. The next stop on the J. Pechauer Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for January 20, 2018, will be hosted by Park Avenue Billiards in Orange Park, FL.