Top Billiard Seeds Tumble in Kelowna
Canadian 9-Ball Tour – Breakers Billiards Bistro, Kelowna, B.C.
A total of 80 players made their way to this beautiful western Canadian tourist spot looking for the lion’s share of the $10,000 added Canadian 9-Ball Tour event prize fund. Top seeds John Morra and Erik Hjorleifson booked the five hour plane trip from Toronto and Tyler Edey and Edwin Montal hopped in their car for the seven hour drive from Calgary. Last year’s Canadian Champion and local sharpshooter, Brady Gollan along with BC natives Paul Potier, John Horsfal, Mike Vidas and Stan Tourangeau, insured that this would be a quality field in Kelowna.
Play started on Friday evening with many top guns seeing action. Two showcase opening day matches pitted the Canadian Tour’s top seeded John Morra against the 2006 national champion, Brady Gollan and last year’s Canadian Tour overall champion Edwin Montal up against the talented Mike Vidas from Vancouver.
In the Gollan/Morra clash it was hometown hero Gollan who struck first, taking the first four racks against Morra. The top seed hit back securing the next two racks to trail 2-4. Gollan then regained the initiative winning racks seven and eight to re-establish a commanding lead at 6-2. Gollan had hit a gear that the younger Morra simply could not match and the early lead that he had established proved to be decisive as Morra finally succumbed to Gollan by a surprisingly one sided score of 9-2.
Calgary’s Montal, the tournament’s fourth seed, faced a stern examination against the experienced Vidas and got off to a great start winning the first two racks before Vidas hit back to level the score at 2-2. The two players exchanged the next four racks to stay neck and neck at four racks apiece. A mistake from Montal allowed Vidas to seize rack number nine and he quickly followed that up by winning rack number ten to go two clear at 6-4 in front. Montal, the reigning Canadian Champ was in no mood to bow out quietly and hit back winning the next four racks to reach the hill at 8-6. Now it Vidas’ turn to display some heart as he fought back to force a hill-hill decider with the break in his hand. A superb break laid the foundation for Vidas to complete the comeback and win the match over the favoured Montal with a nail biting 9-8 vistory.
The biggest upset of the day however fell to tournament’s number three seed Tyler Edey, who went down to local shooter Bob Mellan. Edey is now forced to join the top seed John Morra and the fourth seeded Montal in fighting their way back from the losers brackets. Of the top four seeds in Kelowna, only the number two seed Erik Hjorleifson escaped unscathed on day one and this was due to the fact that he had received a bye and was not scheduled to play his first match until Saturday.
The Canadian 9-Ball Tour wishes to thank its sponsors, Indigo and Chapters bookstores, Cineplex Entertainment, Canada Billiard Bowling, Dufferin Billiards, Stan James Sports Bookmakers, Iwan Simonis table cloth and Aramith billiard balls for their support and adding to the success of the tour.
For all Canadian 9-Ball Tour information including all the event brackets and tournament prize money payouts please visit the official tour website at www.canadian9balltour.com (http://www.canadian9balltour.com) .
Play resumes Saturday morning at 10am PST.