Great Southern Billiard Tour / LaGrange, GA
by Lea Andrews
Brad Shearer, who has cashed in more than a couple Great Southern Billiard Tour events this season and placed as high as second, chose the season finale to make his biggest splash yet. The scene of his victory was Chalk It Up Billiards in La Grange, GA, where 74 players gathered August 28-30 to grab their share of the $6,500-guaranteed purse.
B-ranked Shearer ran past A-ranked Adam Pendley 7-2 to reach the hot seat match, where he met AA-ranked Benny Conway, who was coming off a 10-6 win over Steve Wiggins. Conway, himself no stranger to the GSBT cash, fell 7-7 to Shearer in the weighted race.
On the one-loss side, Justin Ledford ousted Mitch Yarborough 9-3 only to fall 9-2 to Daniel “Lil’ D” McKinney. McKinney then faced Arlo Walsman, who’d eased by Mike Laney 10-4 and Nick Vita 10-6, but Walsman managed only six games against McKinney, who dropped him in seventh. Meanwhile, Denny Singletary notched up a 7-5 win over Danny Smith but fell 10-4 to John Macias. Macias went on to Stoney Stone, who’s just blown through Ed Pope 10-3. Against Macias, though, Stone couldn’t quite get there, landing in seventh 10-9 while Macias greeted Wiggins from the A-side. After brushing past Wiggins 10-5, Macias met up in the quarterfinals with Pendley, who’d just taken down McKinney 9-6. Macias, who needed one more game than Pendley, couldn’t mark it up, finishing in fourth 9-9. The semis, though, were a different story for Pendley, who found himself down 8-0 to Conway before getting on the board. But once he got there, he couldn’t get anywhere else, and Conway moved back over to Shearer 10-1.
In the true double-elimination finals, Shearer, who has the rank of a B-player but the natural talent of an A, started off a little shaky against fast and sharp-shooting Conway, who got up 2-1 after Shearer missed a 7 ball and 3-1 after a 9 on the break. In the alternate-break format, Shearer made it 3-2 with a break and run, but Conway returned it with a four-game streak that was nearly five until he got out of line on the 9 in the tenth rack. Shearer took that rack to make it 7-3, but it was his last that set, as Conway took three straight to push the second set 10-3.
In the second set, Conway took advantage of a few of Shearer’s errors to jump out 3-0, but when he missed a 3-9 combo in the fourth rack, it was Shearer’s turn to take advantage, and he got on the board with a 5-9 combination. The next game went to Conway, but after Conway’s scratch on the break in the game after, Shearer gathered himself and ran to a 7-9 combo. After breaking open the next rack, Shearer carefully and deliberately cleared the balls to make it 4-3, and though Conway took the next one after Shearer left a safety open and reaped the benefits of Shearer’s dry break in the rack after, Shearer had his eyes on the goal and didn’t let up. He took two games in a row with early combinations, then tied it at 6 after nothing fell for Conway on the break in rack 12. And that dry break was Conway’s last shot at the table, as Shearer earned his first GSBT win with a break and run.
1st Brad Shearer $2,300
2nd Benny Conway $1,200
3rd Adam Pendley $750
4th John Macias $500
5th Daniel McKinney $300
7th Arlo Walsman $175
9th Justin Ledford $125
13th Mitch Yarborough $75