Payton Powers Through GSBT Field
Great Southern Billiards Tour / Asheboro, NC
by Lea Andrews
While head coach Sean Payton was leading the New Orleans Saints to their first Super Bowl victory at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, another Payton—Roy—was finishing up an undefeated weekend at Zoo City Saloon in Asheboro, NC. He did so at the expense of the field of 30 who gathered February 6-7 for the $1,500-added Great Southern Billiards Tour event.
B-ranked Payton got past fellow B-player Jeff Baumgarner 7-2 to reach the hot seat match against A-ranked Tony Morrison, who’d gotten by A-ranked Kevin Boggs 9-7. In the weighted race for the hot seat, though Payton notched one less game, he scored the win 7-8.
On the one-loss side, B-ranked Charles “Cotton” Trivett eased by B-ranked Robert Ash 7-3 to meet up with Paul Mullins, who’d ousted fellow A-player Sidney Champion 9-7. After taking care of Mullins 7-4, Trivett moved on to Baumgarner. Meanwhile, B-ranked James Blackburn held B-ranked Joe Edmonds to three games to face Mike Basha, who’d held fellow B-player Tony Williams to four games. Edging out Basha 7-6, Blackburn advanced to Boggs, but landed in fifth after managing just two games. In the quarterfinals, Boggs met Baumgarner, who’d put Trivett in fifth 7-5, and though Boggs managed to reach his hill of 8 games, Baumgarner marked up the final rack, earning his spot in the semifinals 7-8. There he found himself in another tight hill-hill match with an A-player, which, fortunately for Baumgarner, yielded the same result—he put Morrison in third 7-8 to get his rematch with Payton in the finals.
In the true double-elimination final match, Payton could afford to get behind or even lose the first set, but he hadn’t lost a set all weekend, and he wasn’t about to start. After jumping out to a two-game lead, Payton stayed in front, and when Baumgarner missed his chance to tie it up by scratching on the 5 ball at 6-5, Payton took ball in hand and the final rack to earn his win 7-5.Results: