It's been 14 years since Jeremy Jones climbed to the # 8 spot on the AZB Money Leaderboard. He won the US Open 9-Ball Championships and Texas Open that year (2003), as well as a stop on the Fast Eddie's Tour. He was also a member of the winning USA Mosconi Cup team and was among the top ten finishers in 11 of the 13 events in which he went home with cash. Jones has added earnings to his AZ database page every year since 1998, when he finished in the tie for 17th at the US Open.
Though 2017 has been something of a slow year (so far) for Jones, he has chalked up a few top 10 finishes in a number of events, including (in descending, cash earnings order) the Derby City Classic (5th in One Pocket), the Big Tyme Classic (5th in Main Event and One Pocket), and the inaugural Scotty Townsend Memorial 9-Ball Tournament (7th). On the weekend of August 5-6, he joined a record field of 123 entrants on the Omega Billiard Tour's 8th stop (previous record on the tour was 105 entrants), and after winning his first three matches (over Victor Sorto, Curtis Caldwell and Joe Pelayo), was sent to the loss side by Crispian Ng. From there, he mounted a seven-match, loss-side winning streak, culminating in an appearance in the finals in which he double dipped hot seat occupant Danny Williams to claim his first 2017 event title. It was only his second appearance in an Omega Billiard Tour final. His first was in the tour's inaugural year (2102) and he was the runner-up. There is some suspicion that in this most recent second appearance in an Omega Billiard Tour final, he was (somehow) motivated by the fact that he'd recently, in July, become a newlywed. The $1,700-added event that led to his first 2017 win was hosted by Wizard's in Richardson, TX.
While Jones was at work on the loss side, Williams was working on his own seven-match winning streak that would put him in the hot seat. He got by Brandon Sizemore, Mike Stankiewicz, Phillip Palmer, Robin Barbour, and Tony Sulsar to draw Aram Hasan in a winners' side semifinal. Jesse Wilcoxson, in the meantime, having downed Highway Sigadi, Cody McComas, Jake Polendo, Amos Bush, and David Gutierrez, drew Jeff Turney in the other winners' side semifinal.
Williams sent Hasan to the loss side 8-3, and in the hot seat match, faced Wilcoxson, who'd survived a double hill fight against Turney (6-6; Turney racing to 7). The battle for the hot seat proved to be Williams' last win of the weekend, and he made the most of it, shutting Wilcoxson out 8-0 to claim that hot seat, and await the return of "Double J."
"Double J," in the meantime, was working his way back. On the loss side, he got by Douglas Pitts, Justin Whitehead, Denny Snead, and downed familiar foe, David Gutierrez 9-6 to draw Hassan. Turney drew Crispian Ng, who'd recently defeated Luis Lopez and Tony Sulsar, both 8-4, as a Ng/Jones re-match in the quarterfinals loomed on the horizon.
It didn't happen. Jones did his part, downing Hassan 9-3, but Turney eliminated Ng 7-5. Jones took the quarterfinal match versus Turney 9-2, and then brushed Wilcoxson aside, allowing him only a single rack in the semifinals.
Over the next 23 games, in two double elimination final sets, Jones gave up only five racks. He gave up two in the opening set against Williams, and allowed him only one more than that in the second set to claim the event title, and his first 2017 win.
Tour director Melinda Bailey thanked the ownership and staff at Wizards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Michael Hoang of OMEGA Billiards Supply, FargoRate.com and OB Cues. The next stop on the Omega Billiard Tour, scheduled for Sept. 9-10, will be a $1,700-added event, hosted by Speeds in Arlington, TX.