Thwaites thwarts loss side bid by Blitch to win GSBT stop

Shannon Daulton, Mark Thwaites, Darrin Blitch, & Brad Black (Owner of The Coliseum)


Mark "Popeye" Thwaites held off a strong loss-side challenge from Darrin "Gilligan" Blitch to win the August 25-26 stop on the Great Southern Billiard Tour. The $1,000-added amateur 9-ball event drew 60 entrants to The Coliseum in Greenville, SC.

With Blitch already at work on the loss side, after having been sent over by Marty White in the event's second round, Thwaites (a B player) moved among the winners' side final four to meet Matt Mancini (A). In the other winners' side semifinal, Wendell Thompkins (A) squared off against C player, Jamie Anders. Thwaites got into the hot seat match with a 7-6 victory over Mancini, and was joined by Thompkins, who'd downed Anders 9-3. Thwaites then sent Thompkins to the semifinals 7-4 and waited in the hot seat for the return of Blitch.

Blitch, in the meantime, working on a 9-match, loss-side streak won four to get into the money rounds and then, defeated Mike Langley 7-1 and Steve Cox 7-4 to draw Mancini. Anders picked up Romy Malonzo, who'd gotten by Marvin Reed 6-3 and Scott Howard 6-6 (Howard racing to 7). Blitch defeated Mancini double hill and was joined in the quarterfinals by Malonzo, who'd ended Anders' day 6-1.

With seven down, and two to go, Blitch defeated Malonzo 7-2 in the quarterfinals, and completed his loss-side run with a 7-4 victory over Thompkins in the semifinals. He then handed Thwaites his first loss with a 7-5 victory in the opening set of the true double elimination final. Thwaites, though, came back to win the second set 7-3 to capture the event title.

Tour directors Shannon and Marge Daulton thanked Brad Black and his Coliseum staff for offering a great venue for players and spectators alike, as well as sponsors Nick Varner Cues and Cases, Andy Gilbert Custom Cues, Tiger Products and Delta-13 racks. The Great Southern Billiard Tour continues this Labor Day weekend with a stop at Shore Thing Billiards in Myrtle Beach, SC.