Pinegar Takes Reno 9-Ball Division while 8-Ball Nears Top 10

Pinegar Takes Reno 9-Ball Division while 8-Ball Nears Top 10
by Rick Davis
Johnathan “Hennessee” Pinegar took the 9-ball division of the U.S. Bar Table Championships by storm when he went undefeated to claim the division. The event, which is the second of three events, ran from February 26-29 in the middle of the week-long action held at the Sands Regency Hotel and Casino in Reno, NV.
In the finals Pinegar opened with a 4-0 lead against former U.S. Open champ Gabe Owen, but then Owen caught up to tie the score at 6-all then 7-all. From there Owen claimed the last two racks to force a final set. One again Pinegar opened with a 4-0 lead only to see Owen counter by tying the set at 6-all again. While Pinegar was desperately trying to avoid the same fate from the first set, fate was about to step in as Owen scratched on his next break, giving Pinegar just the momentum he needed to take the next three racks and claim the set 9-6.
Saturday brought in the bulk of the 8-ball action as the field was chopped down to the top ten, who will return on the event’s final day of play on Sunday. While play will run through 1 a.m. local time, some of the players have emerged from the fog. On the winners’ side Mitch Ellerman defeated Owen and Cliff Joyner defeated Tyler Edey early in the evening. Coming out on top of that same round, Adam Behnke, Jose Parica, and Pinegar are also alive and well on the winners’ side. On the one-loss side it’s still anyone’s game as the day of play still has yet to produce its survivors.
Along with the players who are still kicking, several shockers were seen as the event progressed. The biggest was Player of the Year Shane Van Boening, who won the 10-ball event early in the week but then took a fourth-round loss to Behnke then was eliminated in his next match by Tinsley Johnson, who bested Rodolfo Luat two rounds earlier. Steve Moore followed Van Boening’s example as he was defeated by Parica then eliminated by Larry Wilson in the following round.
Finally, of importance to the players is the all-around scoring, which will award extra prize money to the top three finishers. Van Boening was in the lead early with the 10-ball division win, but Pinegar and Owen each are likely to surpass him with their top 9-ball finishes and unknown 8-ball finishes. In any case, the final day of play will offer extra excitement as the new overall winner is announced.
Stay tuned to InsidePOOLmag.com for updates on the U.S. Bar Table Championships, as well as updates and coverage on all the regional events and tours.

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