Josh Roberts goes undefeated to win 1st Annual Carolina Cup Open

Kevin Lawter, Herman Parker, Josh Roberts, Tammy Collins and Hunter White

Held under the auspices of the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, the $2,000-added inaugural Carolina Cup Open, held last weekend (Oct. 17-18), drew 77 entrants to Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC. Many of them were tour veterans and some of them, cashing for the first time in a long time, thanks, of course, to the pandemic.

Josh Roberts, for example, who was runner-up to Randy Jordan at a Q City stop in Georgia in September has remained fairly active this year, cashing in seven events through March  (including three Derby City Classic tournaments) and then, taking a break until he appeared in that Q City event in Georgia. Hunter White, who’s won two stops on the tour this year (of four in which he’s cashed), hadn’t been heard from since mid-July. They met in the finals of the first Carolina Cup; Roberts, occupying the hot seat and White, winning five on the loss side for the right to face him. Roberts went undefeated to claim the inaugural title.

Roberts advanced through the field to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Kelly Farrar. Josh O’Neal, in the meantime, after sending White to the loss side in a winners’ side quarterfinal, met up with BJ Ussery.

O’Neal sent Ussery to the loss side 9-7, as Roberts was busy dispatching Farrar 9-2. Roberts claimed the hot seat 9-4 over O’Neal and waited on White’s return.

White, in the meantime, had moved over and met up with Brian White (no relation) in the first money round. He defeated White 7-2 and then eliminated another Q City alum, Jeff Abernathy 7-3 to draw Farrar, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Ussery ran into 15-year-old Joey Tate, who’s more or less grown up on the tour. Tate had recently eliminated Clay Davis and Corey Morphew, both 7-3.

Morphew, who, according to our records, has been on the pool scene for about a decade now, had nothing but praise for the youngster who took him down.

“Great playing, kid,” he reportedly told him.

The ‘great playing’ continued. In his match against Ussery, Tate got out to a 6-3 lead which put him on the hill for advancement to the quarterfinals. Ussery pulled one of those proverbial ‘rabbits out of his hat’ and won four games in a row to win it 7-6. Hunter White, in the meantime, downed Kelly Farrar 7-5.

White then defeated Ussery in those quarterfinals 7-4. He took his final step toward a face-off against Roberts in the hot seat with a 7-4 victory over O’Neal in the semifinals.

According to tour director Herman Parker, Roberts played the final race-to-11 match as though he were late for a bus.

“It was 3-0 after about three minutes,” said Parker. “Josh plays very fast and once he comes out of the break, the rack can be over in about 45 seconds.”

Hunter White won four of the match’s 15 games. According to the 45-second-per-rack calculations, Roberts chalked up his 11 games in 8 minutes and 15 seconds to claim the inaugural Carolina Cup.

Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Break & Run Billiards, 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. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend, Oct. 24-25, will be a $300-added event, hosted by a new venue, Kickshot Billiards in Phelps, KY.