Moran and Kennedy Crush Southeast Open Fields
Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour / Gulfport, MS
by Lea Andrews
Tommy Kennedy juggled both tournament director and player duties at the March 6-7 installment of the Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour, getting past last stop’s winner John “Mr. 403” Schmidt to top the open division, while Jason Moran topped Sunday’s amateur division. The $1,000-added open event drew 29 players to Skeeters Billiards in Gulfport, MS, while the $500-added amateur event drew 25.
Kennedy edged out Cliff Joyner 9-8 to meet Schmidt for the first time in the hot seat match. Schmidt, who was coming off a 9-4 win over Johnny Armstrong, notched up another one against Kennedy, who went west to fight for a rematch. On the left side of the bracket, Jay Bird took care of Jason Moran and Neil Alexander before coming up on Joyner, whom he held to seven games to reach the quarterfinals. Meanwhile, Greg Hagin notched wins over Josh Charbonnet and Luc Detierne to face Armstrong. Allowing Armstrong just three games, Hagin advanced to the quarterfinals, but the four games he marked up there against Bird put him in fourth.
In the semifinals, Kennedy was ready for his rematch with Schmidt, and he dropped Bird into third 9-6 to earn his chance at revenge. In the single race-to 11 final match, the two veterans stayed close, trading games until Kennedy reached the hill 10-9. Schmidt was on his way to tying it up, but an unlikely miss on the 6 ball brought Kennedy back to the table, and he took care of what was left to earn his victory 11-9. Other open event winners were Neil Alexander, who earned $50 as the highest-finishing senior; Jessica Penick, who pocketed $25 as highest-placing lady; and Johnny Armstrong, who took home an extra $25 as the top junior.
On Sunday, Moran’s 5-2 win over Jim Sterling put him into the hot seat match against Tracy Guernsey, who’d shut out Luc Detierne. Against Moran, though, he managed just one game, and he moved over to the semifinals. On the other side of the bracket, Steve Kuhnau, who’d suffered an earlier loss to Sterling, was making his way through the field, getting past Steve Neil Alexander and Mike Trawick for another crack at Sterling. Meanwhile, Ken Black pushed his way past Brandon Goudreau and James Faison to reach Detierne, whom he put in fifth 4-1 to reach the quarterfinals. There he faced Kuhnau, who’d exacted his revenge on Sterling 4-3. Another 4-3 victory put Kuhnau up against Guernsey in the semifinals, and a 5-3 win put him into the single race-to-7 final match, but that was where his run ended. Moran took control early and kept it, finishing up his undefeated event 7-2.
1st Jason Moran $470
2nd Steve Kuhnau $300
3rd Tracy Guernsey $200
4th Ken Black $100
5th Luke Detierne $45