Wheeler and “The Pearl” spoil Kennedy bid for four straight on Tiger SE Open Tour

Wheeler and "The Pearl" spoil Kennedy bid for four straight on Tiger SE Open Tour

First, it was Adam Wheeler, and later, it proved to be Earl "The Pearl" Strickland who stopped Tommy Kennedy's bid for a fourth straight victory on his Tiger SE Open 9-Ball Tour. In his latest attempt, a $500-added event, hosted by Cunningham Pool & Darts in Vero Beach, FL, which drew 20 entrants, Wheeler kept him out of the hot seat, and Strickland spoiled his attempt to return from the semifinals. Wheeler ended up stopping a five-game winning streak on the one-loss side by Strickland to capture the event title.

From among the winners' side final four, Kennedy got into the hot seat match with Wheeler, following a 7-5 victory over Anthony Meglino. Wheeler had prevailed 7-2 over Prescott Buckwold, who'd just defeated Strickland 7-4. In their only meeting, Kennedy and Wheeler battled to double hill, before Wheeler prevailed to sit in the hot seat, waiting for what proved to be Strickland's return.

Once he'd gotten by John Nick 7-2 and Mark Coat 7-5, Strickland proved to be Meglino's first opponent on the one-loss side. Buckwold picked up Rich Ruthven, who'd defeated Chetan Chhabra and Justin Gilsinan, both double hill. Strickland downed Meglino 7-2, as Ruthven spoiled the opportunity for a Strickland/Buckwold re-match with a 7-4 victory over Buckwold. Strickland then finished Ruthven's day with a 7-2 win in the quarterfinals.

The Strickland and Kennedy matchup in the semifinals was somewhat anticlimactic, with Kennedy mustering only a single rack in the match that sent Strickland to a finals matchup against Wheeler. That final – an extended, single race to 9, was close until the end, when Wheeler pulled out in front, and won, ahead by 2, at 9-7.