Garcia Grabs First on Michigan Players Tour
Michigan Players Tour / Grand Rapids, MI
by Skip Maloney
Juan Garcia, who’s been out of the billiard scene for approximately 10 years, returned the weekend of November 21-23 to hold off a one-loss side challenge by Jason “The Dark Horse” Kirkwood and capture first place at the Michigan Players Tour. The $1,500-added event, hosted by the Anazeh Sands East in Grand Rapids, MI, drew 27 entrants.
Early Sunday, Garcia and Bart Goode battled for the hot seat, Garcia having defeated Jeremy Seaman in a double-hill battle, as Goode sent Lee Lombaria to the one-loss side with a 9-5 victory. Garcia gained the hot seat with a 9-6 win over Goode.
Kirkwood, in the meantime, was busy defeating Shannon Murphy 9-3 and shutting out Houston Rodriguez to meet Seaman. Lupe Rosa defeated Mike Vigmont 9-2 before tallying what was described as the tournament’s biggest upset—a shut-out win over Richie Richeson. Rosa then had to settle for a fifth-place tie with Seaman when Lombaria defeated him 9-5, as Kirkwood finished Seaman’s day 9-4. Kirkwood then advanced to the semifinals against Goode with a 9-4 win over Lombaria. Kirkwood made short work of Goode 9-2 and carried some of his momentum into the double-elimination finals against Garcia.
In what Kirkwood hoped was going to be the first of two sets, he took a 5-2 lead. His bid to oust Garcia stopped right there, though, as Garcia took command, winning seven in a row to complete a rather impressive return to the felt with a 9-5 win that earned him top honors.
1st Juan Garcia $1,500
2nd Jason Kirkwood $800
3rd Bart Goode $500
4th Lee Lombaria $245
5th Jeremy Seaman $105
7th Houston Rodriguez
9th Shannon Murphy