Orange Outlasts Great Southern Billiards Field
Great Southern Billiards Tour / Duluth, GA
by Lea Andrews
After a weekend of play that ran over into the early hours of Monday, Tim Orange remained undefeated, taking care of John Maikke twice on the way to his first-place finish on the Great Southern Billiards Tour. The $1,500-added A/B amateur event drew a field of 52 to The Pool Room in Duluth, GA, February 20-21.
AA-ranked Orange rode a strong 11-2 win over B-ranked Bob Lea to face Maikke in the hot seat match. A-ranked Maikke had just sent B-ranked Paul Mullins west 9-5, but he couldn’t mark up the games against Orange, and he moved over to the semifinals 11-4.
On the one-loss side, one of Orange’s earlier victims, AA-ranked Mike Laney, was making a run for a rematch, ousting fellow AA player Billy Young 11-6 to face recent winner Robert South, who’d breezed past B-ranked Felipe Flores 9-2. Another 11-6 victory pitted Laney against Mullins, who landed in fifth after managing to mark up just five games. Meanwhile, B-ranked Richard Andrews was making his way through B-ranked Jeremy Sane 7-2 to meet up with B-ranked Jason Caldwell, who’d won 7-6 over A-ranked Jason Steman. Edging out Caldwell 7-6, Andrews moved on to Lea, but made it no further. Lea put him in fifth 7-3 to advance to the quarterfinals against Laney, whom he held to 8 games in the weighted race to face Maikke in the semifinals. The finals would be a rematch for either man, but Maikke earned the right by a decisive 9-2 score.
The alternate-break, true double-elimination final match didn’t even begin until after two a.m., so fatigue was an issue from the very start. The two traded off games for the first racks, and though Orange managed to open up his lead a little bit, Maikke didn’t let go, reaching his hill of 8 games first after Orange scratched on a tough shot on the 6 ball with the bridge. In what could have been the rack that would push the second set, Maikke got a chance at the table after Orange missed the 3 ball in the side, but Maikke’s shot missed its mark, as well, allowing Orange to finish it off and make it hill-hill 10-8. It was Orange’s turn to break in the final rack, and though he pocketed a ball, he was left without a shot on the 1 ball, and he chose to push. With the cue ball nearly frozen to the foot cushion, Maikke accepted, attempting a long cross-bank, and when it went wide, it left Orange wide open for a run to the winning 5-9 combination.
1st Tim Orange $1,000
2nd John Maikke $500
3rd Bob Lea $300
4th Mike Laney $200
5th Richard Andrews $125
7th Jason Caldwell $75
9th Jeremy Sane $50