|GRADY WHALEY CLASSIC|
The 2002 Grady Whaley autumn classic was held in Elizabethton, TN on September 28-29. Shannon Foster who is the Tennessee Men's champion was a driving force in getting the tournament started. There were 10 players in the Men's championship class. We played 5 games on Saturday evening and the remaining 4 on Sunday afternoon. I hadn't pitched a horseshoe since the World tournament in early August, so I wasn't expecting to pitch my best, but I can normally still pitch pretty decent even after a month or two of not pitching.|
I started off pitching against Walter Mullins from KY and he struggled against me. My 2nd match was against Jimmy Broome from South Carolina. He also struggled and I pitched a great game of over 90%. My next game was against 5th vice president of the NHPA, Paul Stewart, who is also the North Carolina state champion. I had a bit of trouble in the game and Paul pitched a very nice steady game and Paul ended up beating me. The next 2 games Ronald Williams of South Carolina and Richard Evans of Tennessee struggled against me and won those games. After the first 5 games I had one loss while Dean Broome, Shannon Foster, and Tom Westbrook were all undefeated. I had the high ringer percentage, but Dean Broome was within one percent of me. Since the tournament is decided on wins and losses I figured that I would need to win the rest of my games to have a chance.
My first match of Sunday was against Randy Hudson of South Carolina. Randy had yet to pitch a good game against me in our previous matches, but this time was different. We both started out slow, but then I threw some ringers to get a good lead. Then I had 6 singles in a row and never really got going after that. Randy pitched a steady game and beat me in a close game 42-37. I didn't pitch a horrible game, but not as well as I would have liked. My next game was against Dean Broome from South Carolina who hadn't lost a game and had the highest average of the other players. He pitched a pretty good game, but I was more on my game and I won easily even though he pitched a better game, 76.4%, than both of the games which beat me earlier. Tom Westbrook from South Carolina was my next victim as I pitched another decent game. Tom now had 2 losses as did I. Shannon Foster and Dean Broome had a great game that same round with Dean winning 42-38 in which they each shot 79%. That meant that Shannon and Dean had one loss each which meant that I needed to beat Shannon, while Tom needed to beat Dean which would have created a 4 way tie for first and would be the only way I had a chance to win the tournament. Shannon and I pitched good games with me coming out on top as I again pitched another good game and Dean came from behind to beat Tom so Dean ended up winning the tournament and I finished 2nd due to my average being higher than Shannon's. I was pretty happy with my pitching, especially my last 3 games.
MENS DIVISION - CHAMPIONSHIP CLASS Player Wins Loss Rngr SP R% 1.Dean Broome SC 8 1 387 516 75.00 2.Walter Ray Williams Jr FL 7 2 387 494 78.34 3.Shannon Foster TN 7 2 430 580 74.14 4.Randy Hudson SC 6 3 332 496 66.94 5.Tom Westbrook SC 6 3 356 542 65.68 6.Paul Stewart NC 4 5 345 514 67.12 7.Walter Mullins KY 3 6 296 500 59.20 8.Jimmy Broome SC 2 7 272 466 58.37 9.Ronald Williams SC 2 7 268 470 57.02 10.Richard Evans TN 0 9 292 506 57.71 My Opp My Opp Game Opponent Score Rngs Shs Rngr % 1.Walter Mullins-TN 40-7 31 22 42 73.81 52.38 2.Jimmy Broome-SC 44-3 31 18 34 91.18 52.94 3.Paul Stewart-NC 30-40 34 38 52 65.38 73.08 4.Ronald Williams-SC 42-7 30 18 40 75.00 45.00 5.Richard Evans-TN 45-14 32 22 42 76.19 52.38 6.Randy Hudson-SC 37-42 58 59 80 72.50 73.75 7.Dean Broome-SC 40-18 61 55 72 84.72 76.39 8.Tom Westbrook-SC 40-14 44 36 54 81.48 66.67 9.Shannon Foster-TN 42-21 66 60 78 84.62 76.92 W- 7 L- 2 360 387 328 494 78.34 66.40I might play in a horseshoe tournament in MO near KC on the 14th of October when I am there for the bowling tournament, but I haven't set that up yet. After that I don't know when I will pitch in another tournament. I am ready for the tour to start this next week.