Davis loses first set of finals, splits with Johnson on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Clay Davis

Over the years, we’ve reported on any number of individuals who’ve won their first event on any given or multiple numbers of regional tours. We’ve also reported on competitors who’ve returned from long absences away from the tables and chalked up their first win since however long it may have been, most notably in these last two years. According to Herman Parker, tour director of the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, Clay Davis’ official* (did not complete finals) win on last weekend’s (Feb. 26-27) tour stop marked his first win in almost eight years, predating the tour’s reporting to us about their events. He’d been competing all along, with his cash payouts on the tour being reported to us as far back as 2016. Ten of them altogether, but no tour wins.

“He’s the player who’s gone the longest time between wins on our tour,” said Parker.

Davis and Paul Johnson met only that once, in the first set of the tournament’s true double elimination finals. The $500-added event drew a hefty 62 entrants to Rock House Billiards in Gastonia, NC.

They were both a part of the two winners’ side semifinals. As Davis was battling Trent Talbert to double hill before prevailing, Johnson was being outdone by Rory Dover 6-3. Davis claimed the hot seat over Dover in a shutout.

On the loss side, Johnson picked up Runal Bhatt, who’d defeated Zach Martin 7-2 and Matt Lucas 7-4 to reach him. Talbert drew Cole Lewis, who’d recently eliminated Hunter White 8-5 (White racing to 10) and Andrew “Tiger” Carlisle 8-3.

Johnson downed Bhatt 6-5 (Bhatt racing to 7), as Lewis was busy shutting out Talbert. Johnson eliminated Lewis 6-4 in the quarterfinals that followed. 

The semifinal between Dover and Johnson was a straight-up, race-to-6 rematch of their winners’ side semifinal. This time, they battled to double hill, before Johnson finished it, in what was probably an unwitting attempt to face and prevent Davis from chalking up that first tour win in eight years.

Johnson continued that attempt in the opening set of the true double elimination final. With one ‘bead on the wire’ in a race to 7, Johnson won that first set 6-2, at which point, the two of them negotiated a split. As the occupant of the hot seat at the time, Davis claimed the official event title, chalking up that first (albeit, with an asterisk) title in eight years. 

Tour director Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Rock House Grill and Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, BarPoolTables.net, Break Time Billiards of Winston-Salem, NC, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat, AZBilliards.com, 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 5-6), will be a $500-added event, hosted by The Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA. 

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