Strickland takes another ‘short field’ victory on the Jacoby Custom Cue Carolina Tour

Earl Strickland

It took just four match victories for Earl Strickland to win the most recent stop on the Jacoby Custom Cue Carolina Tour. Since last August, the Jacoby Tour has drawn an average of just eight players in each of its five stops. Strickland had won two of those five (in June and September), and chalked up his third at the $1,000-added event held on the weekend of January 8-9, which drew that average number of eight to On The Snap Billiards in Fuquay-Varina, NC.

Strickland opened his short campaign with an 8-5 victory over B.J. Ussery, which put him among the winners' side final four for a matchup against Sidney Champion.  Champion had survived a double hill battle against Mike Harvey in his opening match. In the second set of winners' side matches, Michael Fuller, having shutout Chase Campbell, met Chris Vollmar, who'd sent Charlene Harvey (Mike Harvey's wife) to the 5th/6th place matches 8-3. Fuller defeated Vollmar 8-2, as Strickland downed Champion 8-5. Strickland got into the hot seat with an 8-4 victory over Fuller and waited (not long) for his return.

The Harvey family was eliminated in the first one-loss side matches, to finish in a tie for 7th place; Mike by an 8-4 Ussery victory and Charlene by an 8-3 Campbell victory. It set Campbell up to meet Champion, and Ussery to face Vollmar. Champion shutout Campbell to move into the quarterfinals, and was joined by Ussery, who'd eliminated Vollmar 8-3.  Ussery prevailed 8-4 over Champion, to move into the semifinals against Fuller.

Not surprisingly, with a minimum of $400 and a maximum of $1,000 at stake, the semifinal match between Ussery and Fuller was a struggle that came down to a single, double hill game. Fuller sunk the match's final 9-ball, and got a second crack at Strickland.

With the $600 difference on the line, the finals looked as though it was going to be a struggle as well. Fuller and Strickland traded racks to a 2-2 tie, before Strickland put together four in a row to take a 6-2 lead. Ussery won the 9th game off a Strickland scratch, but it proved to be his last. Strickland took command, winning five in a row to complete an undefeated weekend and his third victory on the tour since June.

There was no Juniors, Ladies, Early Bird, Second Chance, Break and Run, or Break contest on this Jacoby stop, although Cory Ellsworth did win a $500 Jacoby Custom Cue in the regular event raffle. With no one competing in the Break and Run contest, the jackpot for the next tour stop (scheduled for January 29-30, at a site to be determined) remained at $93 per ball.