Archer Sweeps Carolina Open Field
2009 Carolina Open / Goldsboro, NC
by Lea Andrews
Johnny “The Scorpion” Archer, who last won the Carolina Open in 2004, reclaimed his throne by making an undefeated run through a strong field. The $1,800-added 10-ball event, held October 8-10, drew 28 players to Fast Eddie’s Sports Bar in Goldsboro, NC.
Archer took down Cliff Joyner 9-3 to meet Shawn “Big Bubba” Putnam in the hot seat match. Putnam had been the man to beat since arriving in Goldsboro after topping the Jacoby Custom Cues Carolina Tour season finale, the Carolina Open warm-up 9-ball event, and the main one pocket event. Putnam, who’d just blown through Dave Grau 9-1, got that score flipped on him against Archer, and he moved west to try to fight his way back.
On the left side of the bracket, Adam Pendley, who’d fallen to Archer 9-4 in the first round, continued steadily through the field. After Keith Bennett forfeited to him for medical reasons, Pendley moved on to Cary Dunn, who’d just put Earl Strickland in ninth 9-7. Holding Dunn to five games, Pendley moved on to Grau. Meanwhile, Michael Fuller was making his own move, getting by Jeff Abernathy 9-5 to face Larry “The Truth” Nevel, who’d just ousted Shane Winters 9-6. Managing just three games against, Nevel landed in seventh, while Fuller moved on to Joyner. Getting past Grau 9-7 and Joyner 9-4, Pendley and Fuller met up in the quarterfinals. There, it was Pendley who came out on top 9-4 to face Putnam in the semifinals, where he held Putnam to five games to earn his spot in the finals.
In the final match, a single race to 15, Archer got out to an early 6-1 lead. But when Archer missed the 7 ball in the eighth rack, Pendley began making a move, coming out on top of a few safety battles in the next few games to pull within one of Archer 6-5. From there it was a dogfight, with the players trading racks until the score seesawed to 12-11 in Archer’s favor. Two key errors by Pendley put Archer on the hill, and in the final rack, Archer played safe after the break. Though he was left with a jump shot, Pendley hit it but didn’t make it, leaving “The Scorpion” to negotiate what was left on the table to become a two-time Carolina Open winner.