Five Indiana American Poolplayers Association players will attempt to become the second Hoosier to win the United States Amateurs Championship.
At this championship, the players will play a combination of 8- and 9-ball matches with the first to win seven combined matches. This championship has two brackets, one for men and women. One of the Indiana players, who had success last year was Jeremy Edwards, from Granger, Indiana. Edwards finished runner-up last year.
“It’s always fun to go and compete,” Edwards said. “I’ve played very little this year so I was surprised I played as well as I did at the qualifier.”
This year, Edwards hasn’t had a lot of opportunities to practice and train for this championship.
“I recently bought a bar and have been working to get it open very soon,” Edwards said. “I’ve not played any leagues or tournaments.”
Another men’s qualifier to follow is Chuck Thurnall. Thurnall, who is from Lebanon, Indiana, qualified for the US Amateurs Championship at John Wayne’s Pub in Greenwood. Thurnall said he welcomes the opportunity to compete against the best.
“There are some new faces every year, and there are also players that return year after year,” Thurnall said. “I just hope that I can show that I belong competing against them.”
This is the second time has qualified for this championship. The first time was in 2009, where he finished in 33rd place.
“I have tried many times to return with no avail,” Thurnall said. “I lost in the finals of the local qualifier just last year.”
Each of these Indiana pool players are trying to become the second Hoosier to win this championship. Tammie Jones, from Muncie, Indiana, won the women’s championship in 2012. Toni Tucker, who is one of two Indiana women qualifiers, said she has been playing well and is capable of winning it.
“I’m looking forward to competing on a national level again,” Tucker said. “These types of events are my favorite. Head-to-head competition with people from all over the country.”
For some pool players, these type of high-level championships make them nervous. Fred Babcock, who qualified at the same qualifier as Thurnall, is one of those players who becomes nervous when playing.
“Anyone that says they aren’t nervous is lying,” Babcock said. “The trick is to find your own unique way to deal with the nerves and settle into the matches quickly to where you can give your best game from the very beginning.”
The women’s championship begins on Nov. 7 while the men’s is two days after. Both of these championships are in Palm Harbor, Florida, at Stroker’s Sports Bar and Grill.