Archer Successfully Defends Turning Stone Billiard Title
Turning Stone Classic XI / Verona, NY
After four days of play against some of the toughest 9-ballers in the world and in one of the most anticipated events of the year, Johnny Archer has come through the one-loss side to win first place at the Turning Stone Classic XI, defending his title from the tenth event last February. This $25,000-added event was hosted by the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY, and boasted a full 128-player field.
They day began with the final four in the winners’ bracket fighting for the hot seat. Raj “Hitman” Hundal overcame Francisco Bustamante by a strong 9-4 score in their match and advanced to the hot seat match to play Charlie Williams, who had just sent Jeremy Jones, recent victor of the GenerationPool.com 9-Ball Championships, to the west side 9-6.
On the left side of the chart, the last four remaining were fighting to stay alive. Shane Van Boening, who took his first loss Saturday from Williams 9-6, eliminated Steve Moore 9-3 and then went on to play a newly arrived Bustamante. But Bustamante was fired up after his loss to Hundal and took control of the match against the 2007 Player of the Year, besting him 9-6.
In the lower bracket, defending champion Johnny Archer was not to be ruled out. Archer fought through the one-loss bracket all day Saturday to culminate in a 9-6 victory over Ronnie Wiseman in the last match of the evening. Sunday morning he started out with a close 9-7 defeat of Jonathan Pinegar. He kept going with his momentum, breezing through Jones 9-2 to meet up with Bustamante in the quarterfinals. This was his toughest match so far—it went double-hill, but Archer prevailed again.
View the final Turning Stone Classic tournament brackets Bracket is updated round by round
The hot seat match between Williams and Hundal was a close one that ended with Williams winning 9-7, sending Hundal to the west side to face Archer. There Hundal had complete control, racing to an 8-2 lead over the former world champion. However, things took a turn for the worse for Hundal when Archer got back to the table and caught fire, running racks out from everywhere and coming back to an 8-7 score in Hundal’s favor. Faced with a kick shot on the 4, Hundal made it but scratched, and Archer had no trouble clearing the table to make it a hill-hill match. After Archer’s break, he played a billiard off the 1 into the 9 to win 9-8 and advance to the finals.
In the extended race-to-13 final match, Williams never really stood a chance. Archer, after his defeat at the hands of Hatch Saturday, was forced to make the long trudge through the one-loss side and won eight matches in a row to reach the finals. Not only was he pocketing balls on the break but he kept control of the cue ball afterward, giving him the ability to break and run out often. It was this that enabled Archer to take the final match 13-6.
|Shane Van Boening|