Seminole Pro Tour / Jacksonville, FL
by Raymond Linares
Johnny Archer, Mike Davis, Thorsten Hohmann, Steve Moore, Stoney Stone, and Tommy Kennedy have all been eliminated from competition at the Seminole Pro Tour’s event this weekend. Each one of these players can be considered a threat to win the tournament, and each one is booking their trip back home after day two action here in Jacksonville. The level of competition on the Seminole Pro Tour is something serious as short-stops and World champions alike are beginning to feel the wear of the treacherous hike to the finals.
Archer began his day with a strong 7-3 win over Randy Epperson. That earned him the unenviable task of matching up with fellow former world 9-ball champion Hohmann. Archer would drop that set in a hill-hill battle. His tournament would be ended later in the evening by top Florida player Richard Broumpton 7-6.
Moore, currently ranked second on the Seminole Pro Tour, lost two matches back to back; first against Stone 7-4 and then to former U.S. Open champion Kennedy 7-5. The day proved unfavorable for Davis as well, who, after eliminating Stone, suffered a 7-4 loss at the hands of Tulsa, Oklahoma’s, John Gabriel.
Keith Bennett has continued to show the form that has garnered him so much notoriety on the Jacoby Custom Cues Carolina Tour. After losing his first match of the day 7-6 against James Roberts, Bennett marched right through the west side of the bracket with wins over George Mclanahan, Butch Croft, Fred Stoll, Ardo Walsman, and Hohmann 8-5. Bennett has positioned himself securely in the top 8 for the final day of play, where he will play John Gabriel.
The winners’ side final four is up for grabs with each of the competitors playing some class pool. Last month’s champion, Tony Crosby, will face Corey Deuel at noon Sunday. Deuel, who knocked Hohmann to the one-loss side by the score of 8-6, seems to be playing very well. In his match against Hohmann, Deuel was down 6-4. From there Deuel won four consecutive games to take the match and claim his spot in the winners’ side final four.
The second pairing on the winners’ side pits Charlie Williams against top money player Chris Bartram. Williams, who escaped an epic hill-hill safety battle with Stone, will be poised for an opportunity to play for the hot seat. Bartram has been the beneficiary of a good draw with no real difficult tests until he faced Landon Shuffett, whom he defeated by a score line of 8-4. Bartram with his consistent and methodical approach will be a tough test for Williams come noon Sunday.
The pressure has begun to mount here, as all the players fight for their tournament lives. With every match carrying such importance, there’s no telling who will come out on top. Stay tuned as the final destination of this journey is reached Sunday evening.