Great Southern Billiard Tour / Raleigh, NC
by Skip Maloney
Ben Zimmer took the second set of a true double-elimination finals to capture first place in the Great Southern Billiard Tour stop the weekend of March 28-29. The $1,500-added, A-B handicapped event, hosted by Brass Tap & Billiards in Raleigh, NC, drew 50 entrants.
Zimmer was among the winners’ side final four and entered the hot seat match after an 11-8 victory over Ken Kerekes. Zach Wilson, in the meantime, was sending Zimmer’s eventual opponent in the finals, Sam Monday, west with a 9-9 win (Monday, with a higher handicap, had to reach 11 wins before Wilson reached 9). Zimmer then sent Wilson to the semifinals with an 11-7 victory that left him in the hot seat.
From among the event’s final 12, which included the four who’d just been sent over from the winner’s side final eight, Danny Smith and Brad Shearer emerged to face Kerekes and Monday. Smith got by Michaels Dearing and Mike Basha to challenge Kerekes, as Shearer downed Steve Murrill and Jackson Jeffries for a shot at Monday. Smith advanced past Kerekes to the quarterfinals with an 11-7 win, as Monday made short work of Shearer 11-3. Monday moved into the semifinals versus Wilson with an 11-7 victory over Smith and turned his attention to the double-elimination finals against Zimmer with an 11-5 win over Wilson.
Monday repeated his 11-5 score in the semifinals in the opening set of the finals, handing Zimmer his first setback of the tournament. Zimmer rallied in the second set, winning it 11-8 to take top honors.
1st Ben Zimmer $1,000
2nd Sam Monday $600
3rd Zach Wilson $400
4th Danny Smith $250
5th Ken Kerekes $150
7th Mike Basha $100
9th Steve Page $55