Winner takes $6000 at Open
By NICK DILLON
Robinvale's Mark 'Machine' Williams cleaned up at the Berri Resort Hotel Open Eightball Singles Championships on the weekend, winning more than $6000 in prizemoney.
Williams defeated Melbourne's Ben Nunan 4-2 in the final after a great display of sportsmanship by Nunan who accidentally nudged the ball without the judges noticing but still brought it to their attention.
Tournament director Neil Lemmey said the Nunan's gesture was noble, especially considering he was losing at the time.
"Williams mentioned in his speech that it was one of the most sportsman-like things he's seen at an eightball table," Mr Lemmey said.
"He (Nunan) was trailing 3-1 at that stage and the crowd really appreciated that."
Mr Lemmey said Williams was able to win despite not playing at his best.
"He's probably been up here before and played better but obviously things went his way this year,"
"He basically came here with no money because he was trying to pay his entry for the Professional Players Association (PPA), and the organiser said if you win the Friday night tournament you can register for the PPA competition.
"Because he won on Friday he was then eligible for this professional group of 32 players they've got going and was able to pick up an extra $2500 from that tournament."
Stuart Turnbull was the best of the Riverland's male players, making it to the last 64 in the Open, but it was two of the region's local women who made a big impact.
"It was surprising to see Kathy Michael and Trish Steiler both made it to the last eight in the women's event which was a good achievement too," Lemmey said.
"That tournament had four Australian team members who we expected to feature in the finals."
Entries for the event were down on last year but Lemmey said the tournament was still in a good position.
"We had about 430 entries which was slightly down on last year when we had 446 but we're the only tournament in Australia that has 400 players in it."