Putnam holds off Elliott for Viking Tour win

Shawn Putnam

The Viking Cue 9-Ball Tour was at TJ's Billiards in Huntington, WV with 44 players for a $1000 added tournament on the 8' tables this weekend.

The tournament got underway on Saturday with a somber note. Player Tom Browning, who had called ahead to be placed on the player list because he was running late, was involved in an accident and completely totaled his truck. The announcement over the loud speaker brought the crowd's mood down a notch, but that changed to relief and elation a little later when a tow truck pulled up outside and Browning jumped from the cab and ran in to see if he was too late. How is that for dedication??

The early favorite in this event, was Shawn Putnam, who has a habit of winning just about every Viking Tour event he enters. He won tough match after tough match, to make it to the hot-seat match where he defeated Tony Mougey 8-5.

Meanwhile, local favorite Arden Elliott was tearing up the one-loss side. After he defeated his brother Ellis 8-6, Arden put on a clinic in safety play in his match against Danny Brown. Elliott kept Brown completely locked up for the entire match and emerged as the 8-1 winner.

Elliott's next match was against the recently married Travis Stamper. Stamper has been taking a little break from the game, as he gets used to married life, but the fans were happy to see him back in action. Stamper's tournament ended though, with Elliott scoring the 8-4 victory. Elliott matched that 8-4 score in his next match, against Tony Mougey. This set up the finals between Putnam and Elliott.

Elliott came out to an early lead of 4-1 against Putnam, but even that was not enough. Putnam won seven of the next nine games for the 8-6 victory.

Another player entertaining the crown this weekend, was 8 year old Landon Shuffett who was playing in his first Viking Tour event this year. Although Shuffett did not cash, he did win a match on Saturday. Shuffett's trick shot exhibition and challenge match with Putnam, saw many of the players stop their matches for a chance to check out this young star in action.

Putnam collected $1100 for first place, while Elliott settled for $800 in second place prize money. Mougey and Stamper filled out the top four spots.

The Viking Tour event at Starzone next week has been cancelled, so the next event will be at Mother's Billiards in Charlotte, NC on May 10th - 11th. That will be Mother's Day weekend, and all ladies will receive free entry to the tournament that weekend.

Photo courtesy of Diana Hoppe - Pool Pics by Hoppe

Complete Payouts:
1st Shawn Putnam $1100
2nd Arden Elliott $800
3rd Tony Mougey $600
4th Travis Stamper $400
5th/6th Stan Schuffett, Danny Brown $150
7th/8th Ellis Elliott, Dean Burkhammer $60
9th/12th Gary Huggins, Mike Janis, Kevin Whitt, Jordan Grubb $40