Draper goes undefeated to hot seat, splits with Francis to claim first Q City 9-Ball win

Jesse Draper

A funny thing happened to Jesse Draper on his way to what would become his first recorded cash finish anywhere and his first regional tour win. This past weekend (June 25-26), he ran into two opponents – Joey Fox and Brian Francis – who, though they’d recorded cash finishes on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour before, were also looking for their first tour victory. Draper met Francis in a winners’ side quarterfinal, Fox in the hot seat match and though slated to face Francis a second time in the finals, they opted out of playing the match. Draper got his tour win, albeit with its ‘no final’ asterisk, Fox recorded his highest recorded finish on the tour, ever, and Francis had to settle for his third runner-up finish on the tour. The $500-added event drew 45 entrants to the Rock House in Gastonia, NC.

Once Draper sent Francis to the loss side in their winners’ side quarterfinal, he advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Dustin Coe. Fox faced Aaron McClure in the other one. 

Draper downed Coe 5-3, as Fox was sending McClure over 7-3. Draper claimed his first hot seat 5-2 over Fox and waited to negotiate with Francis over the final that wasn’t going to happen.

On the loss side, Francis began with a 6-1 victory over Adam Pendley and followed that with a shutout over John Abernathy, to draw McClure. Coe drew Billy Fowler, who’d defeated Jimmy Tanner 10-3 and Dalton Messer, double hill, to reach him.

Francis advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-4 victory over McClure, while Coe survived a double hill fight (7-9) versus Fowler to join him. Francis eliminated Coe 6-3 and in what would prove to be the final match of the event, defeated Fox in the semifinals 6-5 (Fox racing to 7).

Negotiations for the two-way split got underway and while Draper and Francis, each in their own way, had to settle for the just-shy-of-completely-satisfactory results of their weekend, Draper did earn himself his first event title. Both earned more than the four other players who went home with cash and significantly more than the other 39 entrants who’d competed.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Rock House for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, BarPoolTables.net, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat, AZBilliards.com, Ridge Back Rails, and Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division. The Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour and significantly, Parker, will be taking a Fourth of July vacation this weekend. The next stop on the tour, scheduled for July 9-10, will be hosted by Overtime Billiards in Columbia, SC.

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