There is certainly a different feel around the 41st annual U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships this year. It’s the first year one of the most prestigious pool tournaments in the country is being held without its founder, Norfolk’s Barry Behrman, who passed away in April.
“It’s definitely been an emotional year for us,” said Barry’s son, Brady Behrman, who has taken over operational responsibilities of the tournament alongside his sister, Shannon.
“(When) our dad was in the hospital…he told us, make sure this event continues,” said Shannon.
Barry, who founded Q-Master Billiards in 1971, began the U.S. Open by inviting 16 players to Hampton Roads in 1976. The tournament has grown ever since, and has attracted the top players in the world.
“It was his pride and joy,” said Brady, who now wears his father’s “U.S. Open Founder” medallion around his neck. “It’s a year when we can take charge and see our father’s legacy continuing,” he said.