Rodriguez wins three double hill matches and goes undefeated on Sunshine State Pro Am

Posted: Mar. 12, 2018

Ricardo Joel Rodriguez played seven matches, and went undefeated through all of them to capture the March 10-11 title on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour. Of those seven matches, three of them went double hill, including two, back to back in the second and third round of play. The third double hill win put Rodriguez in the hot seat. The $1,000-added event drew 60 entrants to Brewlands Bar & Billiards in Tampa, FL.
Following an almost-double hill win (7-5) in his opening round, Rodriguez went back to back (7-6) against Jack Cartlidge and Mike Burke. He got a bit of a break in the following round, giving up only a single rack to Michael Barr, which set him (Rodriguez) up in a winners’ side semifinal against Che Mvros. Dale Stanley and Robert Batson, in the meantime, squared off in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Rodriguez sent Mvros to the loss side 7-4, and in the hot seat match, faced Batson, who’d defeated Stanley 7-4. Rodriguez claimed the hot seat over Batson, in what would prove to be his last double hill match, and waited on the return of Stanley.
On the loss side, Stanley began his trek back to the finals against Casey Spahr, who’d been defeated in the event’s opening round and was in the midst of a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end. Spahr had survived one double hill match and won three straight 7-5 matches on the loss side, most recently against Michael Barr and Matt Menes. Mvros picked up Kyle Bova, who, after falling to Stanley, in a winners’ side quarterfinal, had given up only one rack through 15 games; shutting out Tom Roche, and giving up the one to Bobby Garza.
Stanley got by Spahr 7-3, and advanced to the quarterfinals. Mvros spoiled Bova’s hopes for a rematch against Stanley, with a double hill win that let him join Stanley in the quarterfinals. Stanley then downed Mvros 7-5 in those quarterfinals, and got a shot against Rodriguez in the hot seat with a 7-4 victory over Batson in the semifinals. Stanley’s victory in those semifinals raised his position in the tour standings to a single slot below Batson.
Rodriguez, though, will enter the tour standings for the first time. He defeated Stanley in the finals 9-7 to complete his undefeated run.
The top junior player, Trenton White, finished in the tie for 13th place.
Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza gave a “big shout out” to Larry Wathal, owner of Brewlands and his staff for their hospitality, noting that “the large, smoke-free room with its 25 tables” was a great location, and they can’t wait to go back. They also thanked sponsors Play the Game Clothing Co., Kamui, Jacksonville Roofing USA, AZBilliards and Insidepool.TV.

by Skip Maloney