White Outlasts the Pros at Carolina Open
Great Southern Billiard Tour / Goldsboro, NC
by Lea Andrews
An amateur player, AA-ranked Brian White, fought his way through a field dotted with pros to emerge the undefeated winner at the Great Southern Billiard Tour Championship event, which also served as the 9th Annual Carolina Open. The $7,500-guaranteed purse 9-ball event, which was run alongside mini-tournaments and a one-pocket event November 10-14, drew 60 tough players to Fast Eddie’s Sports Bar and Grill in Goldsboro, NC.
White made his way through several amateur players before coming upon last year’s third-place finisher, Shawn “Big Bubba” Putnam. Putnam, who was racing to 13, rushed out to an 8-1 lead, but White fought his way back to take the match 11-12 and proceed to the winners’-side final four, where he faced Larry “The Truth” Nevel. This time, the two game spot lent him no assistance, and White moved on 11-8 to the hot seat match against Alex Olinger, who’d managed his own big win over the defending champion, Hall-of-Famer Johnny “The Scorpion” Archer 9-8. In the hot seat match, it was White giving up the two games, but he held back Olinger 11-7 to become the last man standing on the winners’ side.
On the other side of the bracket, tour director Shannon “The Cannon” Daulton, who’d fallen in the third round to Nevel 13-10, plowed his way through Josh Newman 13-6, Chris Bruner 13-8, Ryan Buck 13-6, and Evan Lunda 13-1 before facing Nevel once again. Meanwhile, Putnam ousted Sam Monday 13-9 and Tony Morrison 13-6 to meet up with Archer, but it was the end of the road for him. Coming up two racks shy, Putnam landed in fifth, while Archer moved on to the semifinals against Daulton, who’d exacted his revenge on Nevel 13-11. But that score got flipped on him against Archer, and he finished in fourth 13-11. Archer soon followed though, as Olinger managed the honor yet again of pocketing the final 9 ball in a match against a legend, advancing to a finals rematch against White 9-9.
Olinger would need to win the first set of the true double-elimination final match to put the two on even ground, and though he managed more games than he had in their first meet-up, he still came up one game shy of his goal of 9. White finished the match in one 11-8 set to become the undefeated Carolina Open champion.
In the 20-entrant one-pocket event, which featured a staggered entry fee based on skill level, Shawn Putnam shut out Sparky Ferrell 3-0 to reach the hot-seat match against Nick Varner, who’d sent Shannon Daulton west 3-1. Edging out Varner 3-2, Putnam claimed the hot seat while Varner moved over to the left side of the bracket, where Larry Nevel, who’d suffered a first-round 3-0 loss to Putnam, was trying to make his way back to him. Shutting out Chris Adams, Mike Basha, Sidney Champion and Adam Towery, Nevel seemed well on his way, but he hit a Daulton-shaped roadblock and landed in fifth 3-1, as did Brian White, thanks to Ferrell. In the quarterfinal match, Daulton held Ferrell to one game to advance to Varner, whose company, Nick Varner Cues and Cases, is one of the tour’s sponsors. The seasoned players battled it out, but Daulton, who is accustomed to being behind-the-scenes on his normally amateur-only tour, enjoyed a rare opportunity to earn a spot in the finals, which he did 3-1, putting Varner in third. To reach the winner’s circle, though, Daulton would have to win both sets of the true double-elimination, and he did just that. He took the first set over Putnam 3-1 and finished the tournament in style with a 3-0 shutout.
1st Brian White $2,500
2nd Alex Olinger $1,500
3rd Johnny Archer $1,000
4th Shannon Daulton $600
5th Larry Nevel $400
7th Evan Lunda $250
9th TJ Moore $150
1st Shannon Daulton $600
2nd Shawn Putnam $350
3rd Nick Varner $170