Bennett Bursts Big Bubba’s Bubble
Jacoby Custom Cues Carolina Tour / Fuquay-Varina, NC
by Lea Andrews
He was looking for his third Jacoby Custom Cues Carolina Tour win in three appearances, but Shawn “Big Bubba” Putnam’s streak was broken by local favorite Keith Bennett, who’s had several Jacoby victories in the past himself. Bennett and Putnam were part of the talented field of 16 that gathered for the $1,000-added event, which was held the weekend of January 9-10 at On The Snap Billiards in Fuquay-Varina, NC.
Bennett got past Sam Monday 7-3 to face Putnam for the first time in the hot seat match. Putnam, who was coming off a 7-2 win over B.J. Ussery, sent Bennett the long way to the finals 7-4.
On the left side of the bracket, Chris Vollmar rode back-to-back 7-3 wins over AJ Monsma and Johnny Griffin to meet up with Ussery, while Sidney Champion edged out former winner Arnold Hamlet 7-6 and Brad Shearer 7-4 to face Monday. It was heavy hitters Ussery and Monday who advanced to the quarterfinals 7-1 and 7-4, respectively, but the semifinals had room for just one of them, and it was Monday who earned it 7-3. Unfortunately for Monday, his second chance at Bennett went only marginally better than his first, and he landed in third 7-5, giving Bennett his own second chance at Putnam.
Bennett’s revenge in the single race-to-11 final match began in the first rack, which he broke and ran. After Bennett scratched on the break in the next rack, Putnam tied it up, going on to take the next rack, as well, to lead for the first and only time 2-1. Putnam made nothing on the next break, and Bennett took that one with a 4-9 combination and the next with a 5-9 carom. Putnam tied it up again after Bennett made nothing on the break in the next rack, but from there, he got very few chances at the table. Knocking out four more break and runs, including one in the final rack, Bennett finished up 11-3.In the finals of the 13-entrant early bird tournament Friday night, Bennett and Putnam put on a little preview of the main event—it went hill-hill 7-6, with Bennett earning $140 for first and Putnam earning $80 for second, while David Strum took home $40 for third. Jordan Harrison took first in the juniors’ division on Sunday, while Karen Webb took first in the ladies’ division. In the second chance event, Chris Vollmar went home with $70 for his 7-5 win in the finals over room owner Billy Wood, who received $30.
1st Keith Bennett $1,000
2nd Shawn Putnam $500
3rd Sam Monday $225
4th B.J. Ussery $75