Jones and Brisbon Win U.S. Amateur Championship Titles
LAKE SAINT LOUIS, MO (Dec. 1, 2014) â€” The U.S. Amateur Championship returned to the tropical climate of the Tampa Bay area in early November.Â For five straight days, the nationâ€™s top players battled it out at Strokerâ€™s â€“ Palm Harbor, Fla., for their place in U.S. Amateur Championship history. More than 2,400 players attempted to qualify for this yearâ€™s event, with 32 women and 128 men advancing to the championship round.Â The tournament field included a strong mix of U.S Amateur Championship veterans and a talented pool of newcomers vying for amateur poolâ€™s most prestigious title.
In the finals of the Womenâ€™s Division, Tammie Jones of Muncie, Ind., defeated Asia Cycak of Raleigh, N.C., 9-4 in a rematch of the 2012 finals.
The encore finale opened in the 8-Ball set at Jones choosing after Cycak won the lag and took the break. Cycak took an early lead winning the first game, but Jones marched right back taking the next three to open a 3-1 advantage.Â Cycak narrowed the gap by taking the fifth game, but again, Jones bounced back with a win of her own and a 4-2 lead heading into the 9-Ball set.
Things unraveled quickly in the 9-Ball set for Cycak, as Jones quickly reeled off four straight wins and an insurmountable 8-2 lead.Â Cycak staved off elimination the next two games, thanks in part to Jones rattling the 9-ball in and out of the pocket while on-the-hill, but could only postpone the inevitable for so long.
Jones earned her second U.S. Amateur Championship title in three years, while Cycak matched her 2012 Runner-Up performance. The victory earns Jones the coveted U.S. Amateur Championship trophy, and travel, lodging and entry into a 2015 pro event.
Stacie Bourbeau of Orange, Mass., finished in 3rd Place.
In the finals of the Menâ€™s Division, Kenneth Brisbon of Oxford, Mich., defeated Jeff Abernathy of Hickory, N.C., 11-10 in the final.Â With the victory, Brisbon avenged his only loss of the tournament, suffered earlier in the day at the hands of Abernathy.
Early on, the match looked anything like the hill-hill nail biter it turned out to be. Brisbon looked like heâ€™d make quick work of Abernathy opening up a 5-0 lead.Â But Abernathy capitalized on a miscue on the 8-ball by Brisbon in the sixth game, and took the final three games of the 8-Ball set.
Before anyone could update their mental scorecards, Abernathy had pulled within a game with an opening win in the 9-Ball set.Â Brisbon took the next two games to push his lead to 7-4.Â Abernathy was tenacious though, winning four of the next five games and tying the match at 8-8.Â Brisbon took the ninth game of the 9-Ball set to regain the lead, but Abernathy battled back again, winning the next two games and taking his first lead of the match.
As a stunned crowd looked on, and needing only one more game for a victory, it appeared Abernathy would complete the comeback. But it was Brisbon who would mount a comeback of his own, tying the match at hill-hill.
In the 21st and final game overall, it was Brisbon coming up clutch with an impressive break-and-run to secure his place in U.S. Amateur Championship history.
After the match, Brisbon was presented with the first-ever Larry Hubbart Trophy by APA Founder Terry Bell and Hubbartâ€™s widow Nancy Hubbart.
Brisbon moves on to compete in the 2015 U.S. Open, while Abernathy settled for Runner-up, his highest finish in U.S. Amateur Championship competition.
Taylor Anderson of Bonner Springs, Kan., took 3rd Place, while defending champion Brian Parks of Bakersfield, Calif., finished 4th.Â Tom Acciavatti of Latham, N.Y., and Clint Clark of Hickory, N.C., tied for 5th Place.
The 2014 U.S. Amateur Championship was conducted by the APA, and is the only tournament produced by the APA open to both members and non-members.Â Preliminary qualifying rounds were held throughout the country in mid-September.
As Champions, both Jones and Brisbon will return next year to defend their coveted titles.
The U.S. Amateur Championship is a double elimination tournament that offers the nationâ€™s top amateur players the opportunity to showcase their skills through a combination of 8-Ball and 9-Ball matches, in the only APA event that does not use The EqualizerÂ® handicap system.
The APA, based in Lake Saint Louis, Mo., sanctions the worldâ€™s largest amateur pool league, known as the APA Pool League throughout the United States, and as the Canadian Pool League in Canada.Â Nearly 250,000 members compete in weekly 8-Ball and 9â€‘Ball league play.Â The APA is generally recognized as the Governing Body of Amateur Pool, having established the official rules, championships, formats and handicap systems for the sport of amateur billiards.
The APA produces three major tournaments each yearâ€”the APA National Team Championships, the APA National Singles Championships and the U.S. Amateur Championshipâ€”that, together, pay out nearly $1.5 Million in cash and prizes annually!Â In 2010, the APA National Team Championships were recognized by Guinness World Records as the â€œworldâ€™s largest pool tournament.â€
The APA and its championships are sponsored by Aramith, Action Cues and Pool Dawg.
For complete coverage of the U.S. Amateur Championship visit www.usamateurchampionship.com.