KF Cues 9-Ball Tour / Fort Pierce, FL
by Lea Andrews
Adam Wheeler chose to earn his first KF Cues 9-Ball Tour Open win on the last regular stop of the season. Wheeler went undefeated through the field of 41 who arrived at Ultimate Billiards in Fort Pierce, FL, for the $1,000 added event July 25, while Albert Howe took first in the 62-entrant $700-added amateur event July 26.
Wheeler followed up a 9-1 blowout over Jerry Calderon with a hill-hill win over Manny Chau to gain the hot seat, while on the one-loss side, Charlie Williams ousted Mike Delawder 7-3, tournament director Tony Crosby 7-3, and Jeff Hughes 7-2 to land in the one-loss quarterfinals with Calderon. Calderon, coming off of a hill-hill win over Prescott Buckwold, held Williams to just two games and moved on to the one-loss semifinals against Chau. The road partners, who were headed to another tournament in the morning, chose to forego a match in favor of a coin toss, which Chau flipped and Calderon called – incorrectly.
In the final set, Wheeler got off to a strong 5-1 lead, forcing Chau to try to make a comeback. While he made a valiant effort, getting within two at 7-5, it wasn’t enough to keep Wheeler from notching his first win in one set.
In the amateur event on Sunday, Howe was fighting for the win plus Player of the Year honors, which would yield him $500 and a custom KF Cue. A win in the winners’ side final four would give him the title, and he got it, sending Jimmy Sandaler west 7-3. He faltered in the hot seat match, though, falling to Sam Ketcham 7-2. On the one-loss side, Sandaler took down Mike Delawder 6-2 and moved on to Richard Knight, who was coming off a 5-4 win over Jesse Langston. Moving past Langston 6-5, Sandaler came up once again against Howe, and the outcome was no different. Howe earned a rematch with Ketcham and a shot at capping off the season with a win by putting Sandaler in third 5-2.
In the single race-to-8 final match, Howe truly played the part of Player of the Year, working the racks even better than he had all day, and he took first with an 8-2 win. The top non-cashing lady finisher in the amateur event, Samantha Huber, earned $40, and the top-finishing junior in the open event, Michael Townsend, earned $30.
Though second in points (leader Crosby, as KF Cues Tour director, is ineligible), earning Player of the Year in the open division was Julio Aquino, who, like Howe, earned $500 and a custom KF Cue. Second and third place finishers in both divisions each receive a custom KF Cue: James Roberts and Jason Richko (second and third in open, respectively), and Mark Wathen and Mike Delawder (second and third in amateur, respectively).
The season finales for both divisions will be held at Strokers Billiards II in Tampa, FL. The $2,500-added minimum amateur finale, the Florida State Amateur 9-Ball Championships, will be held August 29-30, while the $2,500-added minimum open finale, the Florida State Open 9-Ball Championships, will be held September 5-6. For more information, please go to www.kfcuetour.com.
1st Adam Wheeler $750
2nd Manny Chau $550
3rd Jerry Calderon $400
4th Charlie Williams $260
5th Jeff Hughes $150
7th Tony Crosby $85
1st Albert Howe $550
2nd Sam Ketcham $400
3rd Jimmy Sandaler $300
4th Richard Knight $200
5th Jesse Langston $100
7th Saulton Kemph $80
9th Jeff Mabry $60
13th Sam Kantar $50