With a much tougher field to battle with this time, Jayson Shaw still persevered to win a record 9th Turning Stone Classic as the Turning Stone Classic XXXVI in Verona, NY on January 5th – 8th.
Shaw saw his route to a 9th title getting a bit tougher, early on the final day, after he dropped a 9-6 match to Skyler Woodward. While this match was going on, Jeremy Sossei was making quick work of Joss Tour regular Kevin West. Sossei would find himself on the wrong side of another quick match in the next round, dropping a 9-1 decision to Woodward for the hot-seat.
Shaw got to work on the left side of the board, where he eliminated Japan’s Naoyuki Oi 9-6. It was in the next round that Shaw truly got into his usual dominating style at the table. He beat Fedor Gorst for the second time in the event, this time by a lopsided 9-2 scoreline. In the semi-final match, he handed Jeremy Sossei an identical 9-2 beating, to secure his rematch with Woodward in the finals.
The finals were one race to thirteen and Woodward came out of the gate strong, and quickly held a 3-0 lead. A three rack lead is nothing to players of this level, and Shaw made up the 3 rack deficit to tie the match at 3-3. Woodward scratched on the break at 4-4 and Shaw made him pay for that mistake in a big way as he ran out to a 7-4 lead. Woodward played a great 3-9 combo in the twelfth rack, only to see the cue ball follow the 9-ball into the pocket. That mistake cost him two racks as Shaw extended the lead to 9-4.
Woodward won two racks to claw back within three racks at 9-6, but a missed 2-ball by Shaw in the sixteenth rack led to another three racks for Shaw and he held the lead at 12-6. Woodward got one more opportunity when Shaw failed to get out in the nineteenth rack. He made the most of that opportunity as he ran that rack out for a 12-7 scoreline. Woodward then broke and ran the following rack. And the next. And the next. Before the fans in attendance, and watching the live stream online, knew it, the score was tied at 12-12, with Woodward breaking. Woodward would not be able to complete the comeback though, as he missed a touchy six-ball, leaving Shaw a relatively simple four balls to run for his third straight, and ninth overall, Turning Stone Classic title.
Shaw celebrated with the $10,000 first place price, while Woodward settled for $6,500 in second place prize money, as well as a nice bump on the Nineball Rankings list.
Sunday also included the second chance tournament, that saw Landon Hollingsworth defeat Dave Fernandez in the finals for first place.
The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will kick off the second half of the 2022/2023 with the Northeast 9-Ball Open at Sharpshooters Billiards in Amsterdam, NY on March 4th – 5th. The next Turning Stone Classic event is scheduled for August 31st – September 3rd, once again at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, NY.