A strong field of 36 players travelled to the Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu hotel in La Malbaie, Quebec for the second annual Challenge du St. Laurent. Canada put forth some of our best players while Americans from the south traveled north of the border with something to prove taking the first three spots in this 10-Ball tournament. Free live streaming of the event was provided by www.billardquebec.com.In the top half of the bracket, it was the Scorpion Johnny Archer who shot down Justin Kluznik (11-6), Francis Crevier (11-9), John Morra (11-6) and Alain Martel (11-8). The bottom half of the bracket witnessed Martin Daigle pull off a thrilling 11-10 victory over last years champion Shane Van Boening. Martin was then quickly dispatched to the b-side by Mike Dechaine who just came off wins over Shaun Putnam (11-5) and Danny Hewitt (11-5).
In the A-Side finals, Dechaine looked good winning the first three racks, but Archer kept his composure and secured his spot in the top two with an 11-8 win. The finals of the B-side, Dechaine now faced the lefty Shaun Putnam for the second time in this tournament. Putnam was the runner-up at the U.S. Open just two weeks ago. Dechaine was unable to beat Putnam the second time around and would have to settle for third losing 9-2.The race to 13 finals was an all american match, Shaun Putnam from Pennsylvania and Johnny Archer from Georgia. A few early unforced errors by Putnam gave Johnny Archer a commanding 9-4 lead. It looked like Archer was going to run away with the match in this alternate break format. Putnam battled back to bring the score to within one at 12-11. With Archer breaking for the match, a cell phone from the audience rang. Archer broke and scratched, giving Putnam ball in hand on an open table. The score was now 12-12. Putnam broke in the last rack making two balls with no shot on the three ball. A poor safety by Shaun, gave Johnny the opening. Archer quickly cleaned the balls and lint from the table as he remained undefeated throughout the event. Nice escape for Archer.
Special thanks to Francis Crevier, Jean Bergeron and Marco Sanschagrin who have helped organize this tournament. Happy travels, see you next time.
This is how they finished:
1st – Johnny Archer – $7,500
2nd – Shaun Putnam – $3,000
3rd – Mike Dechaine – $2,000
4th – Martin Lalonde – $1,000
5-6th – Martin Daigle – $500
5-6th – Alain Martel – $500
7-8th – Shane Van Boening – $250
7-8th – John Morra – $250