Bryant Fends Off Ochoa for Lone Star Win
Lone Star Tour / San Leon, TX
by Lea Andrews
After an entire weekend of strong play, Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant emerged the winner despite Sylver Ochoa’s best efforts at the Lone Star Tour stop June 6-7. The $1,000-added event, run by WPBA player Kim White, drew 51 entrants to Casper’s Billiards in San Leon, TX.
Bryant’s first run-in with Ochoa came when the two met in the winners’ side final four. Both men fought to get to the hill and beyond, but Bryant was the one who closed out the win, and Ochoa and Raul Escobedo, who had fallen 9-5 to Lanny Herrin, joined the one-loss side.
There Ochoa was a man on a mission. He didn’t let his first opponent’s name faze him, and he took Jeremy “Double J” Jones down 7-1. Jones, who himself had just had strong 7- 1 and 7-2 wins over Danny Lee and Bobby Pachecho, respectively, finished in fifth. Another big name, Cliff Joyner, having just bested Jordanian champion player Zaid Thweib 7-3, fell to Dennis Strickland 7-4, finishing in seventh.
Ochoa was still on his quest for the rematch with Bryant, and with a score of 7-5, he took down Escobedo, who’d finished off Strickland 7-5. Next in Ochoa’s path was Herrin, whom Bryant had bested 9-4 in the match for the hot seat. Ochoa, though, allowed Herrin only five games, and then Bryant was in clear view.
With the score knotted at 3-all in the first set of the true double-elimination final match and with stellar play on both ends, it seemed either man could win. But Ochoa wanted to force that second set, and he took six straight games to do it.
Bryant retaliated in the second set, jumping to a 4-0 lead in the race to 7. Having come that far, Ochoa was not going to give in without a fight, and he tied the score at 4. If the sharp-shooting Bryant needed a wake-up call, that was it, and he took the last three racks to pick up his well-deserved win.
1st Charlie Bryant $1,000
2nd Sylver Ochoa $500
3rd Lanny Herrin $350
4th Raul Escobedo $180
5th Jeremy Jones $130
7th Cliff Joyner $60
9th Manuel Ayala $30