Murgia Comes Back to Claim Tri-State Season Opener
Tri-State Tour / Edison, NJ
by Rick Davis
Billiard News – The 2007–2008 season of the Tri-State Tour kicked off July 14 at Edison Billiards in Edison, NJ, where a 32-player field turned out for the double-elimination, B/D handicapped, 9-ball event. Topping the event was Gary Murgia, who came back from a late loss to claim the event and start the season with the lead.
On the winners’ side Murgia was in command of half the bracket, while Dave Fitzpatrick owned the other half, forcing their match-up in the hot seat match. Fitzpatrick took control early and never looked back as he took the match 9-3. Over on the one-loss side Carlos Jimenez eliminated Ed Miller 6-4 to advance to the quarterfinals, while Mike Panzarella slipped past Dwane Toney double-hill to do the same. In the quarterfinals Panzarella pulled out another double-hill thriller to knock out Jimenez, but waiting for him in the semifinals was Murgia, whose solid play brought him past Panzarella 7-5 to earn a rematch in the final match.
In the finals Murgia took the first five racks, and just when things were looking grim, Fitzpatrick tapped in a hanging 9 ball, then scooped up two 9 on the breaks, followed by a multi-rail roll to sink another 9 and claim his fourth consecutive rack. From there the match tipped each way, but in the end it was Murgia who expanded on his lead and claimed the match 11-9 to start the season with a bang.
1st Gary Murgia
2nd Dave Fitzpatrick
3rd Mike Panzarella
4th Carlos Jimenez
5th Dwane Toney
7th Jeff Dworzenski