Billy Fowler is the first West Virginia State 9-Ball Champion

Herman Parker and Billy Fowler

Billy Fowler’s been collecting and recording payouts in his profile here at AZBilliards for 18 years now, since he won his first (recorded) major tour victory in Chicago on the Viking Cue Tour back in 2004. This past weekend (March 19-20), he recorded his eighth victory on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour in the past six years; one each in ’16, 17’ and ’18, along with two each in 2019 and 2020 (his best recorded earnings year). He also became West Virginia State’s first 9-Ball champion, coming from the loss side to down Josh Heeter in the finals of the $1,000-added WV State 9-Ball Championships, which drew 68 entrants to Sonny’s Billiards in Princeton, WV.

The Open (non-handicapped) event featured races to 7 on both sides of the bracket, with a single race to 9 in the finals. Tour director Herman Parker was pleased with this first WV State Championship, as were, he noted, many of the 68 who competed.

“It was a great event for everybody,” he said.

Fowler and Josh Heeter, looking for his first tour win in about a year, battled twice to claim the title. They met first in a winners’ side semifinal, as Cameron Lawhorne and Mike Clevinger battled in the other one.

Lawhorne downed Clevinger 7-5 and was joined in the hot seat match by Heeter, who’d sent Fowler off on a three-match, loss-side trip 7-3. Heeter grabbed the hot seat with a 7-2 win over Lawhorne.

The event drew the last 12 competitors back to Sonny’s on Sunday. Fowler began his loss-side work against Cory Morphew, who, earlier, had defeated Scott Roberts, double hill, and Trent Talbert 7-4. Clevinger drew Shannon Fitch, who’d defeated junior competitor Cole Lewis 7-4 and Craig Brown, the last West Virginian standing, 7-5.

Fowler downed Morphew 7-4, as Fitch was busy eliminating Clevinger 7-3. Fowler had to battle for his advancement over the next two steps. He survived two straight double hill matches; versus Fitch in the quarterfinals and Lawhorne in the semifinals to earn his second shot against Heeter.

In the extended, single race to 9, Fowler edged out in front and kept widening a lead. He kept at it until the end, completing his championship run 9-5 over Heeter and taking the title home.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Sonny’s Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues,, Break Time Billiards of Winston-Salem, NC, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat,, Ridge Back Rails, and Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend (March 26-27), will be hosted by Hummy’s Bar (formerly, Jack’s All-American) in Newport, TN.

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