THE ROCKET TAKES OFF IN CALIFORNIA
By: Gerry Mayen
(Rafael Martinez, Corey Deuel, Rodney Morris)
The Seminole Pro Tour made its debut on the west coast with a stop at beautiful Hollywood Billiards in Hollywood California. With a very strong field of 59 players, this tour stop was no different from the Tour’s typical east coast surrounding.
Some very familiar names to the Tour came to Hollywood, such as James Roberts, Mike Davis, Charlie Williams, Corey Deuel and Hunter Lombardo. Some new players made their first tour stop of the 2010 Seminole Pro Tour, such as Rodney Morris, Rafael Martinez, Oscar Dominguez, Jose Parica and US Junior National Champion Brendan Crockett. This three-day tournament was packed with great action and also included some surprising results.
The first round of matches involved some thrilling hill-hill matches, including Gabe Owen who shot his way past Michael Williams 7-6. Owen then cruised past youngster Brendan Crockett 7-3, Arturo Rivera 7-4 and won a hard-fought back-and-forth match against a hot Rodney Morris, who only lasted two racks in three matches, 8-7. Owen then faced a familiar foe in Corey Deuel. Deuel ended Owen’s winning run with an 8-2 victory and sent Owen to the west side of the bracket. Owen grinded out a win against Oscar Dominguez where he would then once again face Rodney Morris. This time around the result would be different as Morris would come away with the win 8-4.
Stevie Moore, winner of the recent Bankshot Billiards Tour stop, started the tournament with a hill-hill victory over Max Eberle. Moore continued his run with wins over Tour veteran William Dunsmore 7-1, Christian Johannessen 7-5, and Swiss Marco Tschudi 8-2. Moore ended the second day of play poised to play Rafael Martinez for a shot at the hot seat match. On day three, Moore’s game did not seem to be on point. After missing a straight shot on the 9 ball, while being up 5-3, Moore watched as Martinez ran 5 consecutive racks to take the win 8-5. Moore’s next match against Rodney Morris proved to be unfavorable, as Morris coasted to an 8-1 victory.
Hunter Lombardo, who has played at every Tour stop this season, began the tournament with a disappointing loss to Corey Harper 7-4. The loss did not phase Lombardo as he strung together a series of victories over Jeffery Jamerson 7-4, Reid Feming 7-2, Alex Laski 7-3, Fach Garcia 7-5, Brendan Crockett 8-7, and Eddie Abraham 8-3. This set up a match against Rodney Morris, which would go back and forth until it ended with Rodney coming from behind to win 8-7.
The crowd favorite for the first two days of the tournament was hands down 15-year-old Brendan Crockett. The current US Junior National Champion played a strong tournament and finished on the money. This sharp shooting kid showed a few of the pros that he indeed, will be a force to be reckoned with in the near future. Crockett posted victories over Ken Mendoza 7-4, Rodney Wynn 7-3, Kengo Matsumoto 7-5 and Christian Johannessen 7-4.
Seminole Pro Tour staple Corey Deuel had an impressive weekend. Deuel’s smooth stokes and sharp shooting helped post some convincing wins throughout the tournament. His closest and toughest match came in the hot seat match, where Rafael Martinez went to hill-hill. This match could have gone either way, but Deuel got the king of the hill and played Rodney Morris for the tournament championship and $5,000 first prize.
The championship match began with Corey winning the first four racks and jumping to a quick 5-0 lead. Morris then began a run of his own by winning the next seven games going up 7-5. Deuel finally ended Morris’ huge run to pull within one at 6-7. Morris would answer back on the next rack to widen his lead again to 6-8. Deuel continued to battle, by sinking a stunning combination bankshot to sink the 10 ball and win the rack setting the score at 7-8. Rodney Morris would put an end to the match and the tournament by winning the next rack with a 9-7 victory.
The Seminole Pro Tour would like to thank Jeff Bey and the entire staff at Hollywood Billiards.