53rd Billiard Win for Putnam

53rd Billiard Win for Putnam
Viking Cue 9-Ball Tour / Galesburg, IL

by InsidePOOL Staff
A star-studded field of 65 turned out in Galeburg, IL, to compete on the Viking Cue 9-Ball Tour over the February 23-24 weekend. Hosted by Billiards on Main, this event boasted over $4,000 in added money.

In addition to event winner Putnam, players included James Baraks, Jon Kucharo, Eddie Balderos, Neal Jacobs, Scott Cohen, and Craig McLaren. Also, Jackie Palmer came out to compete. Palmer took Putnam under his wing when he was around 17 and practically let him live at the poolroom he owned, New Castle Billiard Club. They worked on Putnam’s physical and mental game for years until Palmer decided that Putnam needed to go on the road.

When the smoke cleared on Saturday night there were four players left in the winners’ bracket. Putnam bested Baraks 7-5, while McLaren sent Palmer to the west side 7-3, setting up the hot seat match. Before McLaren knew what hit him, Putnam opened up to a 4-0 lead. A dry break gave McLaren the chance to run a rack, but in the blink of an eye, Putnam had notched a 7-1 victory.
In the left side of the chart, Baraks was staging a comeback, ousted Scott Laird 7-2 to deposit him in fifth and then going on to deal Ivan Sweezer a donut 7-0. Faced with a disheartened McLaren in the semifinals, Baraks again did not disappoint, besting his opponent 7-3 to advance. The finals were hard fought, and the players traded racks back and forth until Baraks finally missed a ball, and that was all Putnam needed to press his advantage and win the match.
1st Shawn Putnam
2nd James Baraks
3rd Craig McLaren
4th Ivan Sweezer
5th Jackie Palmer
Scott Laird
7th Dave Tenley
Scott Cohen