Wheeler Turns in Fourth Fury Win

Forty-nine players brought their games to Orlando Billiards Center for the Fury Amateur 9-Ball tour's latest event. Top picks for the event included Justin Hall and local players, Tim Daniel, Richard Murray, Julio Aquino and Adam Wheeler.

As the field narrowed down, Hall and Wheeler were facing off for king of the hill.

Wheeler's track to the hot seat match started with wins over Tim Baron 7-2, Bob Gonnelly 7-4, Elvis Rodriguez 7-3, Brian Davalos 7-4 and Tim Daniel 7-5. Hall's trip included wins over Rick Rogers 7-5, Steven Duong 7-6, Julio Aquino 7-0, Dave Ross 7-4, and Dan Briggs 7-4.

The crowd was quiet in expectation of an exciting match. Tied at 1-1, Hall made a run for it and leapt to at 3-1 lead. Wheeler staged a comeback taking three games topped of with a break and run to lead 5-3. A miss on the 6 by Wheeler and a superb shot and run out by Hall brought it closer as he trailed 5-4. Hall then retaliated with a 2 game winners to get on the hill and lead 6-5. Wheeler fired back with a break and run to make it double hill. Hall had the next break but didn't make a ball and Wheeler made the 1 and played safe on the 2. Hall kicked and made contact but left a shot on the 2 and had to watch Wheeler run out to win 7-6.

On the B-side Dan Briggs was finishing off Tim Daniel 5-1, leaving Daniel in 4th. Briggs advanced to counter Hall who had dropped him on the left side earlier in the day, 7-4. In the B-side semis, Hall and Briggs tied up at 2-2 but a scratch on the 5 by Briggs with a 9 hanging in the hole brought Hall into the lead at 3-2 and that was all he needed as he closed out the match 5-2.

The final rematch between Hall and Wheeler was a race between two of the recent dominators on the tour, with each player having won three tournaments in the Central Florida division. Wheeler jumped to a 3-1 lead but a miss on the 8 in the next rack let Justin back in with a cut shot and an out to trail 3-2. Hall went for a bank on the 1 but left a shot for Wheeler who ran out to lead 4-2. The next rack ended with Wheeler banking the 7 to run out and lead 5-2. Hall shot back with a break and run to trail by only two games, 5-3. Wheeler tried a safe on the 4 in the next rack and tied up the 8 and 9. Hall carefully made the 4 and played the breakout leaving himself and out to go 5-4. Wheeler got a shot on the 3 in the next game and ran out to increase his lead to 6-4. A 9-ball snap off the break for Wheeler moved him closer to the finish line, 7-4. Hall was up to break next and blasted the pack so hard that the balls tied back up and Hall tried a shot on the 2 but left Wheeler a shot. Wheeler made the 2, banked the 3 and fired in the 4-ball, breaking the clusters to run the rack and lead 8-4. Wheeler broke dry and Hall ran to the 4 but hooked himself on the 5, but he kicked the 5 into the 8 and ran out the remainder of the rack to trail 8-5. Hall broke and ran another rack to bring the score closer still, 8-6. Wheeler broke and played safe on the 1 and Hall kicked it in and started a safety battle over the 2 which Wheeler got the better of, giving him ball in hand. Wheeler placed the cue ball behind the two and the crowd wondered why he would shoot at the difficult 2-9 combination before him. Wheeler quickly educated all as he stated "it's dead" and fired the 2-9 into the 3-ball for a dead carom into the side pocket for the match win 9-6.

1st Adam Wheeler $500
2nd Justin Hall $280
3rd Dan Briggs $160
4th Tim Daniel $100
5th/6th Brian Davalos, Jose Ybarra $80
7th/8th Julio Aquino, Johnny Aguilar $60
9th-12th Marty Lentz, Robert "Shorty" Otto, George Smith, Dave Ross $40