Howard goes undefeated* to claim first major title on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Scott Howard

Scott Howard has pocketed more cash and climbed higher on the AZBilliards Money Leaderboard this year than at any other time since we first began recording his payouts back in 2011. He held spot #2,627 on our leaderboard that year and five years later, had managed to get as high as #952. This year, going into last weekend’s (Dec. 5) stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, Howard had already jumped to #329 on the leaderboard with only two cash finishes, both on the Q City 9-Ball Tour; 5th at a stop on the last weekend in October, spilling over into November, at Borderline Billiards, and runner-up to Hunter Apple at a Gate City Billiards Club stop in September.

Howard added cash, climbed a few steps on the Money Leaderboard and added his first recorded victory to that just-about-decade-long resume by going undefeated this past weekend. It was, however, a victory with an asterisk (*). The one-day event drew 24 entrants to Randolph’s Billiards in Hickory, NC.

Howard faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals of this one; Clint Clark in the former and Hank Powell in the latter. He and Powell opted out of a final match, which gave Howard, occupying the hot seat at the time, the official event title.

Howard advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Gary South, while Clark squared off against Powell in the other one. Howard bested South 7-4 and in the hot seat match, drew Clark, who’d sent Powell to the left bracket 8-4. According to our records, Howard was playing in his first hot seat match. He’d been sent to the loss side and won three matches to be in the finals back in September, and in October, 2016, he’d been sent to the loss side in a winners’ side quarterfinal, winning five loss-side matches to make it to the finals. This time, after downing Clark 7-4, Howard would come into the finals in possession of the hot seat.

On the loss side, Gary South picked up Andrew Haas, who’d recently chalked up two straight double hill wins to reach him; against Casey Looper (6-4) and Randolph Billiards owner, Randy Canipe (6-7).  Powell drew Stevie McClinton, who’d eliminated Lauren Kauffman, double hill (7-3) and Jonathan Ailstock 7-2.

Powell and South advanced to the quarterfinals after eliminating McClinton (7-2) and Haas (7-3), respectively. Powell then sent South home 7-4 in those quarterfinals.

Powell then spoiled Clint Clark’s bid for a second shot against Howard with a 7-2 victory in the semifinals. At that point, Howard and Powell decided against playing a final match and agreed to a split of the top two prizes.

Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Randy Canipe and his Randolph Billiards staff as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Bar Pool Tables, JB Magic Templates, AZBilliards, Tickler Pool Ball Washing Machine, Skyline Construction, Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division and Dirty South Grind Apparel Co. 

There are only two stops left in the 2020 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour season. The first is scheduled for this weekend, Dec. 12-13, when a new venue for the tour – Overtime Bar & Grill in Columbia, SC – will host a $500-added event. The following weekend, Dec. 19-20, Break and Run Billiards will host the tour’s 2020 Bar Table 9-Ball Championships.