Meza and Hollingsworth split top prizes on’s Q City 9-Ball Tour

Roland Meza and Landon Hollingsworth

Though he’d competed on a number of occasions, Rolando Meza had yet to earn a cash payout on the’s Q City 9-Ball Tour. That all ended this weekend (Sat., June 29 until early AM on Sunday) when he went undefeated to the hot seat and then negotiated a split of the top two prizes with Landon Hollingsworth. Hollingsworth, who’d lost his opening match, went on to win slightly better than four out of every five (90-16, 84.9%) of the 106 games he played in a nine-match winning streak on the loss side of the bracket. No one chalked up more than four racks against him as he raced to 10 throughout the tournament. The $500-added event drew 46 entrants to Action Billiards in Inman, SC.

Notwithstanding his previous inability to finish ‘in the money’ on the tour, Meza was racing to 7 throughout; evidence of abilities not reflected in any cash awards. He won just a little less than three out of every four of the 58 games he played (42-16, 72.4%) in his undefeated run to the hot seat. As a result, Meza was able to chalk up his first cash payout on the tour and his first regional tour victory, albeit one with an * to indicate that a final match was not played against the winner of the semifinals.

Hollingsworth’s single match on the winners’ side of the bracket pitted him against a competitor, LC Mendoza, who had to win half as many racks. Racing to 5, versus the 10 racks Hollingsworth needed to win, Mendoza won 5-7. It proved to be Mendoza’s only win as he went on to lose his next two matches. 

With (arguably) the ‘favorite’ in the field of 46 safely ensconced on the loss side, Meza and Dustin Clark advanced to a meetup in the hot seat match. Racing to 7, Meza defeated Bobby Moore (3), Hunter Zayas (4), Jason Fowler (3), and Noah Coffey (1) to face Casey Looper in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Racing to 4, following an opening round bye, Clark played three double-hill matches on his way to the hot seat match and shut out his second-round opponent (Steven Loftis), which caused his ‘race’ figure to go up a notch to 5. He opened with a double-hill (4-4) victory over Scott Henderson and then shut out Loftis. Now racing to 5, and in a straight-up race to 5, he survived a double-hill match versus Chad Dill to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal match against Randy Henderson.

Clark won his third double-hill match, against Henderson, and advanced to the hot seat match. Meza downed Looper 7-3 to join him. Meza claimed the hot seat 7-2 over Clark, in what would prove to be his last match.

It took six matches for Hollingsworth’s loss-side opponents to chalk up as many racks against him as he was racing to in every one of those six matches (10). The last six racks to be scored against him before running into Henderson, were recorded by Ben Ledford (2) and Jesse Draper (4). Looper arrived on the loss side for a rematch versus Dylon Driver, whom he’d defeated in the third, winners’ side round and then won four on the loss side to face him a second time. Two of Driver’s four loss-side matches went double hill; his first against Matt Burrows and his third versus Chad Dill, which he followed with a 5-3 win over Onyx Stinson to draw Looper.

Driver won his third double-hill match, defeating Looper and advancing to the quarterfinals. Hollingsworth made short work of Henderson, defeating him 10-1 to join Driver. 

It was 20-5, Hollingsworth, through the final two matches. He eliminated Driver 10-3 and in the semifinals, Clark 10-2. 

“Hollingsworth was absolutely phenomenal,” noted tour director Herman Parker, adding that his loss-side performances were strong right up to and including his last match against Clark, which ended somewhere in the vicinity of 4 a.m. on Sunday morning. Jesse Draper had been the only opponent to rack up as many as four against him and in the quarterfinals, Driver became the only one to chalk up three.

Negotiations to split the top two prizes were likely to have been influenced by the time of day at which they were conducted, but from Meza’s viewpoint, an undefeated day and a regional tour win, even with an asterisk, would have looked (and probably felt) better than being a runner-up. The decision was made and the players went home, chasing dawn.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked Scott and Lisa Green and their Action Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor, (Randy Tate), Breaktime Billiards in Winston-Salem, NC, TKO Custom Cues and Realty One Group results (Kirk Overcash), Dirty South Grind Apparel (Angela Harlan-Parker), Federal Savings Bank (Alex Narod), CHC Underground (Chris Clary), Run Racks Worldwide Apparel (Wanderer Kelly) and AZBilliards. 

This July 4th weekend (July 6-7), Parker will switch ‘hats’ and procedures to oversee the’s annual, $1,000-added Independence Day Shootout, to be held under the auspices of Parker’s TOP (The Open Players) Tour and hosted by Breaktime Billiards in Winston-Salem, NC. There may be a separate Ladies event, with Parker delaying a final decision on that until he determines how many women show up to compete in the Open (non-handicapped) event.

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