Tommy Kennedy Catches Gear For Top Finish at Savannah Open

Tommy Kennedy

The J. Pechauer Savannah Open, event four of the season for the J. Pechauer custom Cues Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour, came after a little bit of a break.  Just over a month ago was the last stop and the tour came back strong at Southside Billiard Club in good ole Savannah, Georgia this weekend (September 27th-28th).  The $1500 added open event which took place on Saturday and Sunday and $500 added amateur/semi-pro second chance tournament that was held Sunday only saw a variety of faces.

The open field drew a field of forty-six players all vying for the $3350 purse on hand.  Some of the highlights from the main event included highest woman finisher which ended up being split between Joann Krisen and Jessica Tennick ($50); top junior finisher, Howard Roe took home $25; and J.R. Rossman ran away with high senior and $50.  As always, the tour donated to one of Savannah's local non-profits in the way of $55.

This weekend ended up being all about Tommy Kennedy though.  After an earlier loss, Kennedy made his way through the one-loss side eventually running into North Carolina's Ron Park in the quarter-finals.  If it wasn't at that point, it would soon be noticeably obvious that Kennedy was catching a gear.  Park ended up settling for a strong fourth place finish with his 9-4 loss to Kennedy.  In the semi-finals, Neil Fugiwara became Kennedy's next victim.  Fugiwara was ousted to the one-loss side when Butch Croft bested him for the hot-seat 9-6 earlier, but in an effort to get back to avenge his loss, found himself on the low end of the scoreboard against Kennedy and having to settle for third this weekend – score 9-3.

The finals pitted Croft and Kennedy together.  The plus side for Kennedy was that he had ample time to get into stroke while taking down tough competitors on the one-loss side and in the end, it paid off.  Croft gave Kennedy a great fight, but could not hold him off succumbing to him 11-9 in the end.

We can't forget the second chance event.  On Sunday the amateur/semi-professional second chance event went off without a hitch!  The twenty-eight player $500 added tournament (total purse $1210) ended on a sweet note for Chad Stokes as he went undefeated through the brackets.  Strokes secured the hot-seat with his victory over John Swope 5-3 and waited it out until Swope made his way back to him in the finals.

The quarter-finals saw Josh Stewart over Champ Farmer 4-2, but Stewart was unable to overcome Swope – the set ended 4-1.  The finals were much tighter, but at 6-5, Stokes swooshed in the final nine for the winning game – final 7-5.

Special notes from the tour – it was great to see Billy Sikes as he was an added and exciting addition to the weekend; thanks to the folks at Southside Billiard Club (Joe and staff) for having the tour (this billiard room rolls out the welcome mat and true southern hospitality and it is a pleasure to stop in while in Savannah); to Kevin Caruso for his faithful support; to all in attendance – thank you and hope you had a great time; and to Tom Potter and Mike Matsie for all their hard work in assisting Tour Director Tommy Kennedy.  Special thanks to the tour sponsors – check them out at and help support those that bring the tours to your area.

Lastly, you wanna play on the tour? Well, your next chance will be The J. Pechauer Gainsville Open November 1st-2nd at The Art of Billiards in Gainsville, Florida.  The event will host a $1000 total guaranteed added open (no amateur/semi-pro second chance event) and an exhibition by Tommy Kennedy on October 31st.  Additional stops can be found using this link: or you can visit the tour homepage at