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Howard goes undefeated* to claim first major title on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Scott Howard

Scott Howard has pocketed more cash and climbed higher on the AZBilliards Money Leaderboard this year than at any other time since we first began recording his payouts back in 2011. He held spot #2,627 on our leaderboard that year and five years later, had managed to get as high as #952. This year, going into last weekend’s (Dec. 5) stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, Howard had already jumped to #329 on the leaderboard with only two cash finishes, both on the Q City 9-Ball Tour; 5th at a stop on the last weekend in October, spilling over into November, at Borderline Billiards, and runner-up to Hunter Apple at a Gate City Billiards Club stop in September.

Howard added cash, climbed a few steps on the Money Leaderboard and added his first recorded victory to that just-about-decade-long resume by going undefeated this past weekend. It was, however, a victory with an asterisk (*). The one-day event drew 24 entrants to Randolph’s Billiards in Hickory, NC.

Howard faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals of this one; Clint Clark in the former and Hank Powell in the latter. He and Powell opted out of a final match, which gave Howard, occupying the hot seat at the time, the official event title.

Howard advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Gary South, while Clark squared off against Powell in the other one. Howard bested South 7-4 and in the hot seat match, drew Clark, who’d sent Powell to the left bracket 8-4. According to our records, Howard was playing in his first hot seat match. He’d been sent to the loss side and won three matches to be in the finals back in September, and in October, 2016, he’d been sent to the loss side in a winners’ side quarterfinal, winning five loss-side matches to make it to the finals. This time, after downing Clark 7-4, Howard would come into the finals in possession of the hot seat.

On the loss side, Gary South picked up Andrew Haas, who’d recently chalked up two straight double hill wins to reach him; against Casey Looper (6-4) and Randolph Billiards owner, Randy Canipe (6-7).  Powell drew Stevie McClinton, who’d eliminated Lauren Kauffman, double hill (7-3) and Jonathan Ailstock 7-2.

Powell and South advanced to the quarterfinals after eliminating McClinton (7-2) and Haas (7-3), respectively. Powell then sent South home 7-4 in those quarterfinals.

Powell then spoiled Clint Clark’s bid for a second shot against Howard with a 7-2 victory in the semifinals. At that point, Howard and Powell decided against playing a final match and agreed to a split of the top two prizes.

Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Randy Canipe and his Randolph Billiards staff 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. 

There are only two stops left in the 2020 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour season. The first is scheduled for this weekend, Dec. 12-13, when a new venue for the tour – Overtime Bar & Grill in Columbia, SC – will host a $500-added event. The following weekend, Dec. 19-20, Break and Run Billiards will host the tour’s 2020 Bar Table 9-Ball Championships. 

South goes undefeated at JAC’s Billiards in Newport, TN on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Gary South

Though the tour directors of the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour – Herman and Angela Parker – tend to work together, the tour’s stop on Saturday, July 11, was run solo by Angela Parker. Herman, in the meantime, was recovering from a “dissected aorta,” for which he had to be airlifted to Duke Medical Center last week. Doctors told him that he was lucky to be alive, as untreated, the problem could have led to a massive heart attack. As Angela noted in a Facebook post last Thursday, “doctors said that he should be fine.” As Angela made the trip to Newport, TN, where JAC’s Billiards hosted a $500-added event that drew 37 entrants, Herman had himself a few days off. Word from the Parkers, at present, is that Herman might have to undergo surgery, but they’re concentrating for the moment on getting and keeping his blood pressure down.

“The show must go on,” wrote Angela in Thursday’s Facebook post. And “go on” it did.

Gary South picked up his second win on the tour and is probably thankful that it wasn’t anywhere near like his first one (held on the weekend of March 7-8), when he and Junior Gabriel battled three times, both in search of their first tour victory. They played 31 games, over three matches. Gabriel won 20 of the games and two out of the three matches to go undefeated and claim that first title. This past weekend, the event slipped into an early Sunday morning, before Gary South completed his second undefeated run, downing Brady Brazell twice; hot seat and finals.

They met first, after Brazell had defeated Matt Marrisette 7-1 in one of the winners’ side semifinals and South had sent Daniel Autry to the loss side in a double hill battle. South staked his claim for a second tour victory with a shutout over Brazell in the hot seat match.

On the loss side, Marrisette picked up Justin Duncan, who’d defeated Robert Ingold 6-2 and, in the first money round, Eric Roberts 6-7 (Roberts racing to 10). Autry drew Dalton Messer, who’d recently eliminated Jose Irizarry and Jeff Elder, both 6-3.

Duncan shut Marrisette out 6-0 and advanced to the quarterfinals, where he was met by Autry, who’d defeated Messer 6-3. Duncan and Autry battled to double hill before Duncan prevailed (6-5) for a shot at Brazell in the semifinals.

After advancing to his first hot seat match and being defeated by South, Brazell wanted a second chance at chalking up his first event title. And he got that chance by defeating Duncan 7-5 in those semifinals. South, though, was just as anxious to chalk up his second event title and did so with a 7-4 win over Brazell in the finals.

Angela Parker (and in absentia, Herman) thanked the ownership and staff at their new venue, JAC’s Billiards, officially known as JAC’s All-American Billiards, Brews & More, for their hospitality. She also thanked title sponsor Viking Cues, Bar Pool Tables, Delta 13 Racks, 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 (July 18-19), will be hosted by Randolph’s Billiards in Hickory, NC.

South takes two out of three versus Gabriel to win his first Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop

Gary South

When your finalists are battling to win their first event on your tour, you stick around to let them decide it on the table. When you’re either one of the finalists, you battle aches, pains and fatigue  to get it done and claim your first event title. Gary South and Junior Gabriel battled three times during the March 7 (and a few hours into March 8) stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour and were chasing dawn when they broke the last rack of the 31 games they played. South won 20 of those games and two of the matches to claim his first (recorded) regional tour win, anywhere.
 
It was Gabriel’s second runner-up finish on the tour, having finished 2nd at a stop last August at the same location – Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC. He’d won seven on the loss side during that event to face Hunter White in the finals. As he did this past weekend, he won the opening set of the true double elimination final, but dropped the second. It happened to be Hunter White’s birthday. This most recent $500-added event, which drew 39 entrants to Break & Run Billiards was the fourth cash finish on the tour for both South and Gabriel and the best finish of all of them for South.
 
They both advanced to winners’ side semifinal matches; South, against junior player Landon Hollingsworth and Gabriel versus Randy Tate. South sent Hollingsworth to the loss side 7-5 and in their first of three, battling for the hot seat, faced Gabriel, who’d sent Tate over 6-3. South gave up only a single rack to Gabriel and claimed his first hot seat.
 
Landon Hollingsworth and Tate got right back to work on the loss side. Hollingsworth picked up Trey Frank, who’d defeated Sydney Cork and Brian Ervin, both 7-1, to reach him. Tate drew Billy Fowler, last year’s Bar Box Tour Champion, who’d eliminated Aaron McClure 9-3 and Ryan Hollingsworth (no relation to Landon) 9-1.
 
Landon Hollingsworth downed Frank 6-3 and in the quarterfinals, faced Tate, who’d eliminated Fowler 6-5 (Fowler racing to 9). The junior player, Hollingsworth defeated Tate 6-2 in those quarterfinals, but couldn’t get past Junior Gabriel, who ended the youngster’s night with a 6-3 victory in the semifinals.
 
With their first major event victory on the line, it was no surprise that the opening set of the true double elimination final went double hill. Gabriel won it to force a second set. South won that 7-4 to claim the event title.
 
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, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards, and Tickler Pool Ball Washing Machine. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for March 14-15, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Mickey Milligan’s in New Bern, NC.

Fowler wins second 2019 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball stop and becomes Tour Champion

(l to r): Brian Bagwell & Billy Fowler

At his only other event victory on the 2019 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour (May 11-12), Billy Fowler faced Brian Bagwell three times, taking two out of the three to capture the event title. At the annual Tour Championships, the season finale of the tour’s 2019 season on the weekend of December 21-22, Fowler and Bagwell repeated that scene, with a minor alteration or two. In May, it was Fowler who grabbed the hot seat, and though Bagwell took the opening set of the true double elimination final, Fowler took the second set and claimed that title. On this most recent, just-before-Christmas weekend, it was Bagwell who claimed the hot seat, with Fowler winning his two, back to back, in the true double elimination final to grab the Tour Championship title. The $1,000-added event drew 63 entrants to Break and Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC.
 
They’d both gotten by their individual opponents in the winners’ side semifinals; Fowler 9-2 over Gary South and Bagwell over Ricky Baughman 7-4. Bagwell took the first of their three 7-6 (Fowler racing to 9) to claim the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Baughman and South got right back into things with victories over their first opponents. Baughman faced Kelly Piercy, who’d been defeated by the tour’s Point Standings leader, BJ Ussery, in the opening round of play and then mounted a nine-match, loss-side winning streak that had most recently included victories over Tyler Mayfield 5-4 (Mayfield racing to 6) and a successful rematch against Ussery, which he won 5-8 (Ussery racing to 11). South drew Anthony Mabe, who’d eliminated Landon Hollingsworth 7-3 and Joe Upchurch 7-4.
 
Boughman ended Piercy’s nine-match streak 7-3 and in the quarterfinals, faced South who’d ended Mabe’s 2019 tour season 7-5. Baughman inched a match closer to a potential shot at the finals with a double hill win over South in those quarterfinals.
 
Fowler put an end to Baughman’s thoughts of a spot in the finals. Fowler, as anxious as Boughman to face Bagwell, got his second shot at Bagwell with a 9-2 win in the semifinals.
 
Fowler took the opening set of the double elimination final 9-3. Bagwell chalked up two more racks in the second set, but Fowler chalked up his nine to claim the Tour Championship title.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Break and Run Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Bar Pool Tables, Delta 13 Racks, AZ Billiards and Professor Q-Ball. The season opener of the 2020 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour will be held on the weekend of January 4-5 at a site to be determined.

Farrar downs Johnson twice, goes undefeated to win Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop

Kelly Farrar

Until the weekend of September 7-8, Kelly Farrar had cashed in only three events on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, finishing 4th twice (both times in May, 2018 and 2019) and 5th once (this past April). In a relatively small field on hand for the tour stop at Brown’s Billiards in Raleigh (18 entrants) this past weekend, he went undefeated to claim his first tour title.
 
He defeated Scott Johnson, also looking for his first tour win, twice to do it. Johnson had only cashed twice previously on the tour, finishing 3rd a little over a month ago (July) and was runner-up to JT Ringgold at a stop in April, 2016.
 
They advanced through the short field to a winners’ side semifinal match. Farrar faced Travis Guerra, as Johnson met up with Gary South. Johnson sent South west 7-3. He was joined in the hot seat match by Farrar, who’d given up only a single rack to Geurra in a 6-1 victory. With Johnson racing to 7, Farrar defeated him double hill (6-6) and sat in the hot seat, awaiting his return.
 
On the loss side, Guerra drew Josh Shultz, who’d defeated Brian Overman 6-4 and Steve Jenkins 6-2 to reach him. South picked up Tanya Parsley, who’d been defeated in the opening round of play by Ricky Dickson and was in the midst of a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would take her as far as the semifinals. She’d recently shut out Billie Spadafora and defeated David Strum 4-3 (Strum racing to 6).
 
Both matches for advancement to the quarterfinals went double hill, with Guerra downing Shultz 6-5 and Parsley knocking off South 4-6 (South racing to 7). With Guerra racing to 6, Parsley won the quarterfinal match 4-4.
 
Johnson was able to put an end to Parsley’s winning streak in the semifinals, but not before she’d brought him to the brink and forced a 10th and deciding game. Johnson’s 7-3 win gave him a second shot at Farrar in the hot seat. Farrar, though, improved on his hot seat performance with a 6-4 win over Johnson in the finals.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Brown’s Billiards, 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 (September 14-15), will be the $500-added North Carolina State 8-Ball Championships ($1,000-added with field of 64), hosted by Randolph’s Billiards in Hickory, NC.

Ussery and Roberts split top prizes on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop

BJ Ussery

Both competitors had something to play for in what would likely have been an entertaining final match of the August 31-Sept. 1 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. BJ Ussery would have entered the match looking for his fourth win and his eighth finish among the top three in eight events on the 2019 tour (he’d record the win, albeit with an *). Scott Roberts would have entered the match looking for his first 2019 win on the tour and his first since he won four events on the tour in 2017. Roberts had a little extra incentive, having been defeated in the second round of play and winning seven on the loss side to face Ussery, waiting for him in the hot seat. For undisclosed reasons, they opted out of the final match, leaving Ussery as the event’s official winner. The $500-added event drew 28 entrants to Speak Eazy Billiards in Sanford, NC.
 
With Roberts at work on the loss side of the bracket, Ussery advanced to a winners’ side semifinal matchup against Barry Mashburn. Tony Wall faced Anthony Mabe in the other one.
 
Ussery got into the hot seat match with a 12-7 win over Mashburn. He was joined by Wall, who’d defeated Mabe 5-5 (Mabe racing to 7). Ussery subsequently gave up only a single rack to Wall and claimed the hot seat 12-1.
 
It was Mashburn who ran into Roberts on the loss side. Roberts, four matches into his seven-match, loss-side winning streak had chalked up victories #3 and #4 against Richard Lynch (8-1) and 14-year-old Joey Tate (8-3). Just prior to meeting Roberts, Joey Tate had eliminated his 12-year-old sister, Bethany, from the competition. Mabe drew Gary South, who’d defeated Justin Martin 7-4 and Travis Guerra 7-1 to reach him.
 
Roberts defeated Mashburn 8-7 (Mashburn racing to 9). He was joined in the quarterfinal match by Mabe, who’d given up only a single rack to South.
 
Roberts took that quarterfinal match 8-2 over Mabe, and then, in what turned out to be the last match of the weekend, defeated Wall in the semifinals 8-4. He and Ussery agreed to the split with Ussery claiming the official event title.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at SpeakEazy Billiards 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 (September 7-8), will be hosted by Brown’s Billiards in Raleigh, NC.

Shabib goes undefeated to take Borderline Billiards stop on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Raed Shabib

Like criminals to a crime scene, pool players love returning to the sites of previous triumphs. It could be a home room, near to their actual home, or just a place where, for whatever reason, the balls were rolling well on a given day. On the weekend of July 13-14, Raed Shabib returned to Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN, where he’d won the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour Championships last December. He went undefeated through a field of 39 entrants this time and got by Brian Bagwell twice to claim the event title.
 
They met first in the hot seat match. Shabib had defeated Ron Frank 9-6 in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Bagwell, in the meantime, accepted a forfeit from his son, Josh Miller, in the other winners’ side semifinal and advanced to the hot seat match against Shabib. Shabib defeated Bagwell the first time 9-5.
 
On the loss side, Frank picked up Gary South, who’d defeated Mark Hurst 7-3 and John Pallaria 7-4 to reach him. Miller, looking to work his way back to a possible finals rematch against his Dad, drew Jeff Abernathy, who arrived having just given up only three racks in 21 games (Abernathy racing to 9); two to Ryan Fossum and only one to Doug Schulz.
 
South downed Frank 7-3, whiLe Miller was busy chalking up more racks against Abernathy than his previous two opponents combined. With Abernathy again racing to 9, Miller advanced to the quarterfinals 5-6.
 
South ended any hopes for a father-son final by defeating Miller 7-2 in the quarterfinals. Bagwell then put an end to South’s run 7-3 for a second shot against Shabib in the hot seat. Shabib completed his undefeated run with a second victory over Bagwell; this time 9-4.
 
Herman and Angela Parker thanked Janet Atwell and her Borderline Billiards staff, 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 (July 20-21), will be hosted by the Gate City Billiards Club in Greensboro, NC.