Morris New Turning Stone Billiards Champion
Turning Stone Classic XVII / Verona, NY

by InsidePOOL Staff

Rodney Morris rocketed undefeated through the 128-player field at the Turning Stone Classic XVII to claim the title, besting Alex “The Lion” Pagulayan in the finals. The $25,000-added event was held this weekend at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY.

Morris went unchallenged through the field, besting Charlie Williams 9-5 and then Jose Parica 9-5 as well to reach the hot seat match against Shawn Putnam, who had just delivered Josh Ulrich 9-4. In a closely contested battle, Morris was able to eke out a 9-8 victory over Putnam and await a finals opponent.

On the west side of the chart, Pagulayan, who suffered a second-round loss to Morris 9-6, recovered to win the next nine matches in a row to reach Morris again. He sent Jeremy Sossei home in ninth place 9-4, then bested Bucky Souvanthong 9-4, and dominated Parica 9-2 to reach the quarterfinals.

Pagulayan’s opponent in the match for fourth place was Johnny Archer. No stranger to the winner’s circle at this event, Archer also suffered a second-round loss and worked his way through the left side of the bracket, ousting players such as Bruce Nagle 9-3, Charlie Williams 9-8, Greg Antonakos 9-7, and Ulrich 9-2.

Rodney Morris Wins Morris New Turning Stone Billiards Champion

Morris rocketed undefeated through the 128-player field at the Turning Stone Classic XVII to claim the title, besting Alex “The Lion” Pagulayan in the finals.

View the Turning Stone Classic tournament brackets

After their long treks through the one-loss side, both players faced off in the quarterfinal, with neither giving an inch until the end, when Pagulayan pushed through for a 9-7 win. It was much of the same in the semifinal match against Putnam, who went neck and neck with Pagulayan until “The Lion” squeaked past 9-8 to earn a rematch with Morris.

Pagulayan and Morris traded the first two racks, but that was the only time the score was in parity. Morris whizzed ahead to a 4-1 and then a 7-2 lead in the extended single race to 13. Pagulayan was in the electric chair for most of the match as Morris was clearly on a roll. The Hawaiian reached the hill 12-4, and though Pagulayan won the next three matches to inch closer to the goal, he scratched on his following break and left a wide-open table for Morris, who cleared up to take the title 13-7.

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