Hatch Crowned Ocean State Billiards Champion
Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour / Providence, RI
by Lea Andrews
Newest 2009 Mosconi Cup USA Team member Dennis Hatch didn’t let a late loss to Dave Grau slow him down on the way to his third Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour win this season—“The Hatchet Man” had plowed through the field up to then, and he kept on until he was crowned Ocean State 9-Ball Champion. The $5,000-added Ocean State 9-Ball Championships drew a contender-studded 108-player field to Snooker’s Billiards and Café in Providence, RI, on November 21-22.
Hatch’s only loss came in the winners’ side final four, where Grau got past him 9-6 to face Nelson Oliveira in the hot seat match, who had held Shane Winters to four games. Grau eased into his spot in the hot seat 9-1, sending Oliveira to the semifinals.
On the one-loss side, Ray McNamara got by Justin Muller 9-3 to face Dan Heidrich, who’d notched his own 9-3 win over Scott Tollefson. Another 9-3 match ended in McNamara’s favor, and he moved on to Winters. Meanwhile, Kevin Guimond won 9-3 over Chance Chin to meet Tom McGonagle, who’d held Bucky Souvanthong to four games, edging out Guimond 9-8, McGonagle moved on to Hatch. Hatch and Winters, who also went into the event with two Joss wins under his belt so far this season, advanced to the quarterfinals 9-7 and 9-6, respectively, and Hatch moved on to the semifinals 9-2, leaving Winters in fourth, and after a shutout win over Oliveira, Hatch faced Grau once again.
Hatch forced the second set of the true double-elimination final match easily, allowing Grau just one game in the first set. It seemed the second set would go the same way as Hatch got out to a 5-0 lead, and though Grau had other plans, they didn’t quite pan out. He managed to tie the score at 5-5, but he couldn’t get any further. “The Hatchet Man” had his eye on another win and he kept it there, winning four straight games to earn first 9-5.
1st Dennis Hatch $3,200
2nd Dave Grau $2,200
3rd Nelson Oliveira $1,600
4th Shane Winters $1,200
5th Ray McNamara $900
7th Dan Heidrich $700
9th Justin Muller $500
13th Joe Tucker $300
17th Ivaylo Petrov $150