Rice Rebounds for Victory
Great Southern Billiards Tour / Duluth, GA
by Lea Andrews
A late loss to Billy Kuykendall didn’t stop David Rice from powering through to ultimate victory at the March 27-28 stop of the Great Southern Billiards Tour. Rice and Kuykendall, who faced each other three times, were among the field of 60 that gathered at The Pool Room in Duluth, GA, for the $1,500-added amateur event.
A-ranked Rice got past recent winner Josh Newman 9-6 to meet A-ranked Sean Davis in the hot seat match. Davis, who’d just breezed past B-ranked Jack Cavalier 9-4, fell just short of his goal against Rice and moved to the west side 9-8.
On the one-loss side, B-ranked Kuykendall was on a mission to get back to Rice, who’d edged him out 9-6. Kuykendall took care of B-ranked Amy Chen 7-4 to face AA-ranked Benny Conway Jr., who was coming off a big 11-1 win over fellow AA-player Brian White. Conway fell 7-7 in the weighted race, landing in seventh while Kuykendall moved on to Cavalier. Meanwhile, B-ranked Curtis Hale moved past A-ranked Robert South 7-7 to meet B-ranked Richard Andrews, who’d gone hill-hill 7-10 with AA-ranked Danny Smith. Another hill-hill match was up next for Andrews, but it went the wrong way this time, and he finished in seventh 7-6. Hale moved on to Newman, who dealt him a 9-4 blow to reach the quarterfinals against Kuykendall, who’d blown through Cavalier 7-1. A strong 7-5 win over Newman put Kuykendall into the semifinals against Davis, who couldn’t mark up the final two games and finished in third 7-7.
In the first set of the true double-elimination final match, Kuykendall got a taste of revenge, notching the final game in the hill-hill set to push another set 7-8. Fatigue was wearing on both players in the second set, which began a couple hours into Monday, and the two took advantage of each other’s errors to stay even through their third hill-hill set of the tournament, but the all-important final 9 ball belonged to Rice.Results:
1st David Rice $1,000
2nd Bill Kuykendall $600
3rd Sean Davis $400
4th Josh Newman $200
5th Jack Cavalier $100
7th Benny Conway, Jr. $70
9th Brian White $45