Strickland Strikes Jacoby Tour Again
Jacoby Custom Cues Carolina Tour / Goldsboro, NC
by Lea Andrews
Earl Strickland, who swept the June 13-14 Jacoby Custom Cues Carolina Tour stop, struck again at the August 22-23 event, going undefeated to take first place. The $1,000-added stop drew 24 competitors to Fast Eddie’s Billiards in Goldsboro, NC.
Following a 7-4 win over Cary Dunn, Strickland met in the hot seat match the last stop’s winner, B.J. Ussery, who’d just sent Eddie Little west 7-5. Holding Ussery to two games, Strickland emerged as the A-side winner while the B-side battled it out.
After falling to Ussery 7-1 in the second round, Tony Morrison backed up strong wins over Jeff Abernathy 7-4 and Sam Monday 7-6, with a 7-3 win over tour bigwig Keith Bennett, who’d been sent left by Strickland 7-3. Ultimately, Morrison came up short 7-6 against Chip Klein, who dropped into fifth courtesy of Little 7-5. Meanwhile, John Hernandez eased past Bernie Kirby 7-2 and Brent Hensley 7-5 only to fall 7-2 to Dunn, who met up with Little in the quarterfinals. With a 7-3 victory over Dunn, Little moved on to Ussery, whom he edged out 7-6 to face Strickland in the finals.
Little started off on the right foot in the single race-to-9 final set by marking up the first game, but Strickland rebounded from the deficit with a 6-game streak. With the score tied at 1 apiece, he broke and ran to go up 2-1, then took advantage of Little’s missed 5 ball to go up 3-1. Finding himself snookered after the break in rack 5, Strickland chose to kick safe rather than push out, and though Little made contact, Strickland ran out to make it 4-1, then took the next two racks to lead 6-1. A dry break in rack 8, though, gave Little an opening, and he quickly made it 6-4. Little’s scratch in rack 11 put the set back in Strickland’s hands, as he ran that rack out and got out of Little’s safety in the next rack with a two-rail kick safe to get ball in hand and reach the hill. In the final game, Strickland played safe on the 4 ball, and though Little tried a kick safe, it wasn’t enough to keep Strickland from victory, and he ran out for a strong 9-4 win.
On Friday night, there was an 11-entrant tournament in which Ussery took $130 for his 7-4 win over Cary Dunn in the finals. Dunn earned $60 for second, while Younger Chapman received $30 for third. On Sunday, Casey Bradshaw and Jerry Jones Jr. took first in the ladies’ division and the juniors’ division, respectively. In the seven-entrant second-chance tournament, Brent Hensley took first place and $90 for his 7-4 win in the finals over Bernie Kirby, who earned $50. This stop’s raffle earned Eric Fair a new Jacoby Cue.
1st Earl Strickland $1,000
2nd Eddie Little $500
3rd B.J. Ussery $300
4th Cary Dunn $200
5th John Hernandez $100