Two veteran opponents – Kennedy and Meglino – split top prizes on Sunshine State Pro Am Tour

(l to r): Tommy Kennedy, Scott Rohleder & Anthony Meglino
Though Tommy Kennedy and Anthony Meglino were the last two left standing during the season finale of the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour on December 7-8, they were far from being the only veteran Southeast USA pool players among the 42 entrants. Many of these players sport resumes that date back to the early years of the century. Kennedy, of course, has a resume that began, more or less (not including his life as a road warrior) with his victory over Johnny Archer (twice) in the 1992 US Open 9-Ball Championships and was updated this past weekend with his undefeated run through the Sunshine State Pro Am’s season finale field. Meglino, who finished as runner-up in this event has a history that dates (through AZBilliards) back to 2007, when he finished 5th at a stop on Kennedy’s Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour; Kennedy finished 7th at that event, which was won by Nathan Rose, who finished in the tie for 5th place at this most recent event and concluded the 2019 Sunshine State Pro Am season as its Player of the Year.
This inter-connected, one-big-happy-family, $500-added event drew its 42 entrants to Park Ave. Billiards in Orange Park, FL. Though Kennedy and Meglino were the finalists, at 3 a.m. on Sunday morning, they opted out of a final match, leaving Kennedy, the undefeated occupant of the hot seat, as the official winner.
They did meet in the event, once, in a winners’ side quarterfinal. They battled to double hill before Kennedy prevailed and moved on to face Andrew Pettenger in one of the two winners’ side semifinals. Meanwhile, Scott Rohleder (a relatively new member of this family) survived a double hill, winners’ side quarterfinal fight against Nick Applebee to draw the aforementioned Nathan Rose in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Two double hill matches sent Rose and Pettenger to the loss side, advancing Kennedy and Rohleder to the hot seat match. Kennedy claimed the hot seat 7-3 over Rohleder in what proved to be his last match of the weekend.
On the loss side, Rose ran into another marquee matchup against Meglino, who, after his defeat at the hands of Kennedy had defeated the tour’s top junior player Trenton White 7-5 and David Singleton 7-1. Pettenger drew David Grossman, who, after a second-round loss to Rohleder, set out on a six-match, loss-side winning streak that had most recently included victories over Clint Nichols 7-3 and a double hill win over James Sandaler.
Pettenger put an end to Grossman’s loss-side streak 7-3 and advanced to the quarterfinals. He was joined by Meglino, but not before he and Rose had battled to double hill. Meglino then eliminated Pettenger 7-4 in those quarterfinals.
Meglino appeared to be picking up some speed, after his successful match against Rose. His victory over Pettenger was followed by a 7-2 victory over Rohleder in the semifinals.
He and Kennedy then opted out of the final match. Kennedy went into ‘the books’ as the event’s official winner.
Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked Carl Watt and his Park Ave. Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Central Florida USA Pool League, Stitch it to me Embroidery, Diamond Products & Cyclop Balls, AZ Billiards & Cue Sports Studios for streaming. The Sunshine State Pro Am Tour will return on February 1, 2020 with a season opener at Stroker’s in Palm Harbor, FL. At that event, they will present the 2019 Player Awards, to include recognition of Nathan Rose as its Player of the Year, Trenton White as its Top Junior and Stephanie Mitchell as Lady of the Year.