Fitch thwarts Davis bid to defend NC 10-Ball title

Shannon Fitch and Mike Davis
Mike Davis is the current North Carolina 8-ball and 9-ball champion. His bid to successfully defend his 10-ball title, won in 2015, was derailed on the weekend of July 16-17 by Shannon Fitch, who came back from a defeat in a winners' side semifinal to battle Davis to a case game in the finals and win it. The $800-added North Carolina State Open 10-Ball Championships, held under the auspices of the Q City 9-Ball Tour, drew 52 entrants to Brass Tap and Billiards in Raleigh, NC.
The event itself was almost derailed by a power outage on Saturday that, instead of the normal dozen or so that might have returned to play on Sunday, forced the return of 30 competitors. Play resumed on Sunday, with both Fitch and Davis advancing to a winners' side semifinal; Fitch versus Matt Bulfin and Davis against Daniel Gambill.
Fitch moved to the loss side after a 7-4 victory by Bulfin. Davis advanced with a 7-2 victory over Gambill. As he had done last year, at the same location, Davis grabbed the hot seat. This time, with a 7-3 victory over Bulfin.
Fitch opened his three-match, loss-side campaign against renowned cue maker Daniel Heidrich, who, in the event's first money round, had defeated Corey Sykes 7-3 and then, eliminated 'young gun' (age 16) Hunter White. Gambill drew Kenny Miller, who'd defeated Chris Wilburn and Joshua Padron, both 7-5.
Fitch and Gambill chalked up identical 7-4 victories over Heidrich and Miller and advanced to the quarterfinals. Fitch took that contest 7-5 and then defeated Bulfin in the semifinals by the same score.
The final was a single race to 9, and it was clear from the start that it wasn't going to be easy. Fitch and Davis battled back and forth through numerous ties until they reached the final one at 8-8. Davis broke and came up dry. Fitch stepped to the table and ran it to claim the 2016 North Carolina State Open 10-Ball title.
Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Brass Tap, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, and Delta-13 Racks. The next stop on the Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for July 23, will be hosted by Brian's Billiards in Roanoke Rapids, NC.