Shuffett Shoots to Win
Great Southern Billiard Tour / Fairfield, OH
by Lea Andrews
Fifteen-year-old Junior Nationals champion Landon Shuffett came up one set shy of undefeated on the way to his second win this year on the Great Southern Billiard Tour, which traveled farther north than usual for its November 21-22 stop. The $1,500-added, A-B amateur event drew 40 players to Michael’s Billiards in Fairfield, OH.
A-ranked Shuffett faced fellow A-player Alex Olinger in the winners’ side final four, but it was Olinger who reached 9 first, sending Shuffett west 9-8. Joining Olinger in the hot seat match was Craig McParthlin, who’d had his own hill-hill victory over Robert Frost, but McParthlin came up short 9-7 against Olinger.
On the left side of the bracket, B-ranked Stephen Dillon won hill-hill 7-8 over A-ranked Jordan Grubb to face John Lynch, who’d gotten past B-ranked Chris Hutcheson 7-5. But that score got flipped on him against Dillon, who moved on to Shuffett 7-5. Meanwhile, Mike Cantrell notched a strong 9-3 win over fellow A-player Ed Hancock, moving on to Mitch Scearce, who’d won 7-6 over AA-ranked Danny Barnes, who was racing to 11. Cantrell held Scearce to six games to meet up with Frost, keeping him at two games to advance to the quarterfinals against Shuffett, who’d rebounded from his loss by shutting out Dillon. Cantrell fared better than Dillon, but his six games were only enough to earn him fourth place and send Shuffett to the semifinals. There, McParthlin’s seven games earned him third place, and Shuffett moved on to the true double-elimination final match.In the first set, Shuffett and Olinger stayed locked up until a pivotal shot gave Shuffett the advantage. With the score tied at 7-7, Olinger played safe, leaving Shuffett a three-rail kick. Though Shuffett’s kick didn’t hide Olinger, it left him tough enough to keep him from getting out, and Shuffett took that rack and the next to push the second set 9-7. In the final set, Shuffett seemed to have the edge, getting in front and staying there to earn first with a decisive 9-4 win.
1st Landon Shuffett $1,000
2nd Alex Olinger $500
3rd Craig McParthlin $250
4th Mike Cantrell $150
5th Stephen Dillon $80
7th John Lynch $50