Hillbilly Wins Carolina Open Billiards Event
Carolina Open / Goldsboro, NC
by Skip Maloney, InsidePOOL Staff
It was Johnny “The Scorpion” Archer looking to sting Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant, complete with bibbed overalls, in the finals of the Carolina Open 10-Ball Tournament in the early hours of Monday, October 13. But in an epic battle to 15 that lasted until just after 5 a.m., Bryant came through to bring home the $5,000 first prize.
Earlier in the evening, Archer sent Keith Bennett west with an 11-4 victory, as Jason Klatt battled to a double-hill win over Brian White. Archer opened the hot seat match that followed with a slim lead at 3-1 but then surged ahead. At 7-2, Klatt moved into a two-to-one mode that saw him get within three at 9-6. Archer reached the hill at that point and in the final rack played a safety that set up a perfect 6-10 combination for himself. Klatt missed the kick at the 6 and conceded the match.
With the tournament down to four in each bracket, Bryant, who’d worked his way back through five opponents since a second-round defeat at the hands of Klatt, dropped Michael Fuller into a tie for seventh place, as Chris Bartram did likewise to Sam Monday. Bryant then faced Bennett, as Bartram took on White. Bryant advanced 11-2, as Bartram and White locked horns in a hill-hill match that advanced White against Bryant in the quarterfinal match. When Bryant finished with White 11-5, he turned his attention to Klatt, who’d sent him to the one-loss side eight matches ago. Vengeance was sweet and swift. Bryant was up 7-0 before Klatt won a game, and though he did manage to get three in before it was over, Bryant advanced to face Archer.
In a finals match that began at 12:50 EST, the two played slowly and deliberately through to a 3-3 tie before Bryant began to establish a rhythm that brought him out in front 8-3. Archer fought back and at 9-7, as the hour hand inched toward 4 a.m., a certain amount of irritability was on display as the two got involved in a dispute over whether the racked balls were being placed properly over the head spot. Play resumed and Archer got a step closer at 9-8.
Bryant won two in a row to make it 11-8 and Archer got one back. Bryant opened the gap to three again before Archer’s chance to make it 12-10 disappeared when he rattled a 7 ball into a corner pocket. Bryant cleaned up and it was 13-10 and then, “Hillbilly” was on the hill. Archer refused to go quietly and made it 14-11. Bryant was called on a shot clock foul and Archer closed out the rack to get back within two at 14-12, but Bryant took advantage of a combination in the next rack and it was over.
1st Charlie Bryant $5,000
2nd Johnny Archer $2,800
3rd Jason Klatt $1,500
4th Brian White $1,000
5/6th Keith Bennett $700
5/6th Chris Bartram
7/8th Mike Fuller $400
7/8th Sam Monday
9/12th Antonio Mendieta $250
9/12th Charlie Brinson
9/12th Manuel Chau
9/12th Mike Davis