Morris Rockets to Winner’s Circle
by Rick Davis
The final day of play at the Seminole Pro Tour ended with billiard player “Rocket” Rodney Morris going undefeated and taking down the $11,000 top prize at the Hollywood Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL.
The day started with Mika Immonen and Louis Ulrich in the quarterfinals, which stayed even through a 3-all score. From there Immonen caught a gear and ran three racks for a 6-3 lead. After trading the next few racks Ulrich scratched on the break, leaving Immonen to run out from the hill and claim the match 8-5.
Over to the winners’ side the hot seat match featured Corey Deuel and Morris in a safety showdown nearly every rack. Morris was able to adjust and capitalize on his chances faster, and before long he sent Deuel west 8-5.
Immonen started with a great lead up 4-2 against Deuel in the semifinals. After a smattering of scratches, safeties, and misses from both players, the score was tied at 5-all. Deuel took that as his cue to wake up and broke and ran the next two racks to reach the hill. Hammering the nail into his own coffin, Immonen came up short on a safety, which allowed Deuel to run out and take the match.
View the Seminole Florida Pro Tour Finale image gallery (/gallery2/v/Pool+Tournaments/FLProFinale/)
In the finals Morris shot out to an early 4-0 lead before he traded racks with Deuel to reach the hill 8-4 in the single race to 9 finals. Deuel managed to play defense and make a few runs to keep in the game and finally got within a rack with the score 7-8. But in the last rack Deuel rattled the 9 ball in the corner for what should have been an automatic shot. After the shock wore off he shook his head and went to shake Morris’ hand, conceding the match with the 9 and 10 balls hanging in opposite corners. A happy and relieved Morris said, “I made a mistake or two, and he was playing good. I was trying not to give it away at the end. I thought the pool gods must smile on you sometimes. When it’s your chance you have to earn it. There are no gifts, even though it looks that way sometimes.”