Leonard wins second straight ‘split’ decision on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Zac Leonard
It was the second week in a row that Zac Leonard found himself in the hot seat at a stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour and came to an agreement with his finals opponent to not play a last match. As the undefeated competitor, Leonard claimed the official event title both times. It was the second time that he’d reached such an agreement with BJ Ussery, although when he reached the agreement in August, it was the undefeated Ussery who claimed the official event title. On Saturday, Sept. 22, the two met in the hot seat match and let the result – a win for Leonard – stand. The event, originally scheduled to be played at Corner Pockets in Fayetteville, changed its venue to Speakeazy Billiards in Sanford, NC, but still suffered from a bit of post-Hurricane-Florence syndrome and drew a short field of 22 entrants.
Leonard and Ussery advanced through the field to face opponents in the two winners’ side semifinals; Leonard meeting Q City 9-Ball veteran JT Ringgold and Ussery squaring off against Bill Ethridge. Leonard downed Ringgold 7-3, as Ussery sent Ethridge to the loss side 11-4. In their only match, with Ussery racing to 11, Leonard claimed the hot seat 7-6.
On the loss side, Ringgold picked up Jason Evans, who’d shut out Nick Mauldin and defeated Billie Spatafora 9-3 to reach him. Ethridge drew Chad Weachter, who’d defeated Don Lilly 5-1 and Travis Guerra 5-3 (Lilly entered the event as the tour’s # 1-ranked player and left as #2, behind Leonard).
Ringgold advanced to the quarterfinals with a double hill 10-8 win over Evans, and was met by Weachter, who’d eliminated Ethridge 5-2. With Ringgold racing to 10, Weachter took the quarterfinal match 5-4.
Ussery stopped Weachter’s loss-side run 11-3 in the semifinals. He and Leonard opted out of the final match, leaving the undefeated Leonard as the official event winner.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Speakeazy Billiards for their change-of-venue, last-minute hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Bar Pool Tables, Delta 13 Racks, AZ Billiards and Professor Q-Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend (Sept. 29-30), will be the tour’s 2018 Bar Box Tournament Championships, open to invited members of the tour. The $2,000-added event will be hosted by Steakhorse Restaurant & Billiards in Spartanburg, SC.