LAKE SAINT LOUIS, MO (Nov. 19, 2015) – The top amateur poolplayers in North America were on display in early November at the U.S. Amateur Championship in Palm Harbor, Fla., just across the bay from Tampa. For five straight days, the nation’s top players battled it out at Stroker’s for the coveted U.S. Amateur Championship title and their place in the record books.
More than 2,400 players attempted to qualify for this year’s event, with 128 men and 34 women advancing to the championship round. The tournament field included a strong mix of U.S Amateur Championship veterans and a talented pool of newcomers vying for amateur pool’s most prestigious title.
Henry Brodt defeated fellow former champion David Rowell of Birmingham, Ala., 11-2 in the finals of this year’s U.S. Amateur Championship held Nov. 4-9. Sixteen years after winning his second U.S. Amateur Championship title (1998-99), Henry Brodt now has a third to add to his collection.
Brodt apparently discovered the fountain of youth after retiring and moving to Laguna Beach, Calif. Not only did he win his third U.S. Amateur Championship title, but at the age of 68, he also became the oldest player to ever do so.
To say Brodt dominated both the final round, and the tournament overall, would be an understatement.
He went undefeated throughout the 3-day event, handing losses to Carlos Carter (’13 Runner-up), Ernesto Bayaua (’11 Champion) and David Rowell (’00 Champion) and plowing through a field that included several players half his age.
Brodt will advance to the U.S. Open next fall, courtesy of the APA, and his name will be added for the third time to the Larry Hubbart Trophy.
Rowell finishes as Runner-up in this year’s event, his strongest finish since taking 2nd in 2010. Both of Rowell’s loses at this year’s event came at the hands of Brodt.
Ernesto Bayaua of Tomball, Texas, took 3rd Place, while Eric Tang of Hartford, Conn., took 4th. James Adams of Brooksville, Fla., and Gregory Dix of Myrtle Beach, S.C., tied for 5th Place.
Stacie Bourbeau of Orange, Mass., is the 2015 Women’s U.S. Amateur Champion after she defeated former champion Dana Aft (’13) of Marietta, Ga., 9-7 in the finals.
The finale opened in the 8-Ball set. Bourbeau got on the scoresheet first with a win, but Aft came right back to tie the match 1-1. The same scenario played out over the next two games. Tied 2-2, Aft pulled ahead slightly with a win in the fifth game. Bourbeau quickly countered and they split the 8-Ball set 3-3.
As they moved to the 9-Ball set, a similar pattern emerged, with Bourbeau winning one game, Aft the next. The match finally seemed to take a turn in Bourbeau’s direction in the fifth game of the 9-Ball set. Aft had a chance to take the lead, but left the 9-ball hanging, giving Bourbeau an easy out for her fifth match lead. Moments later, she pocketed the 9-on-the-snap, opening up a 7-5 lead. With her confidence mounting, a third straight win put Bourbeau on-the-hill.
Aft, the seasoned U.S. Amateur Championship veteran, refused to break. She battled back to win the next two games, again pulling within one of Bourbeau. Moments later though, her comeback bid fell short, as Bourbeau won the final game she needed for a 9-7 victory.
In a great show of sportsmanship, both ladies embraced as the crowd cheered the newly crowned champion.
Bourbeau secured the title in only her second U.S. Amateur Championship appearance. She’ll advance to a pro event in 2016.
For the Runner-up, Aft, it was her highest finish in the U.S. Amateur Championship since winning the title in 2013. Samantha Barrett of Woburn, Mass., took home 3rd Place in this year’s event.
The 2015 U.S. Amateur Championship was conducted by the APA, and is the only tournament produced by the APA open to both members and non-members. Preliminary qualifying rounds were held throughout the country in mid-September.
As Champions, both Brodt and Bourbeau will return next year to defend their coveted titles.
The U.S. Amateur Championship is a double elimination tournament that offers the nation’s top amateur players the opportunity to showcase their skills through a combination of 8-Ball and 9-Ball matches, in the only APA event that does not use The Equalizer® handicap system.
The APA, based in Lake Saint Louis, Mo., sanctions the world’s largest amateur pool league, with leagues throughout the United States, Canada, Japan and China. Nearly 250,000 members compete in weekly 8-Ball and 9-Ball League play. The APA is generally recognized as the Governing Body of Amateur Pool, having established the official rules, championships, formats and handicap systems for the sport of amateur billiards.
The APA produces three major tournaments each year-the APA National Team Championships, the APA National Singles Championships and the U.S. Amateur Championship-that, together, pay out more than $1.5 Million in cash and prizes annually!
The APA and its championships are sponsored by Aramith, Action Cues and Pool Dawg.
For complete coverage of the U.S. Amateur Championship visit www.poolplayers.com/usam/.