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Shaw and Kelly take Pro Championship titles on closing night of the SBE

Jayson Shaw and Kelly Fisher

Bruner and Malm capture Amateur titles

The Annual Super Billiards Expo (SBE), like other tournaments of similar size and length, has a way of building momentum and speed as the week of it goes by. This varies slightly, depending on whether you’re a spectator or a player. As an example, Kelly Fisher, who emerged from a 63-entrant field and went on to become the undefeated WPBA Women’s Pro Players Champion on Sunday, played a single match on Thursday (she’d been awarded an opening round bye) and didn’t play again until Saturday, when she played twice. On Sunday, already among the event’s 16 players to enter the single-elimination phase, she played three times in a row to claim the title. Jayson Shaw, who went on to become the undefeated, 73-entrant Diamond Open 9-Ball Pro event winner had the same experience. In both cases, the Thursday and Friday experience was a little slower. The Saturday and Sunday experience seemed to flash by like proverbial greased lighting.

The Amateur Players Championship, which featured four short of 1,000 entrants (by far, the most heavily attended event) began on Wednesday and like the Pro events, ended on Sunday. That single-elimination process began with a lot of layover time for the competitors; time which narrowed and eventually, went flying by. Its champion, Chris Bruner, though, was used to it. As a participant at the SBE for about 20 years, he’d finished third at the last one and over the years, had five or so finishes of 5th or better. But playing in the APA, he’d also been a veteran of similar, large-entrant fields, requiring days and days of non-stop pool, or in the early going of such competition, waiting for the non-stop pool to begin.

“It’s tough,” he said, “but with things like the APA Nationals in Vegas, you get used to those long days. You get accustomed to it; the mindset that you have to chill out, relax and go play your game.”

“I’ve been doing it for so long that in the last five or six years, I’ve learned what to do and what not to do,” he added. “Get as much rest as you can, get enough sleep, and just take it day by day.”

Bruner ended up winning 10 matches and only lost two sets. Only once did he compete against someone he knew; Brent Hensley, with whom he has been friends for a long time. To him, the reward had less to do with the $5,000 in cash that he received as the Amateur Champion, than it was about, after all of the years he’d been attending, finally winning it. 

“I’m still on Cloud Nine,” he said, about three hours after the event had ended, around 6:30 on Sunday night. “I’ve been so close for so many years.”

A field of 166 entrants competed in the Women’s Amateur Players Championship. Tina Malm went undefeated through that field to claim the title, downing Ashley Benoit in the finals.

By Saturday night, the WPBA’s 63-entrant Women’s 9-Ball Professional Championship had whittled down to its 16-entrant single elimination phase. The 16 women advancing (in fact, the entire field of the event) featured many of the most highly recognizable names in women’s pool and with the exception of two from the UK (the Fishers, Kelly and Allison), all were from the North American continent; two, being Canadians (Brittany Bryant and Veronique Menard). Among the 47 who did not make the cut were a few junior competitors – Skylar Hess, Savannah Easton and Hayleigh Marion – along with Jeri Engh, who, in her 80s, was the event’s oldest participant. Women of the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour were well-represented, along with the presence of, though not participation on the part of the tournament’s director, Linda Shea. Along with Kia Burwell and Caroline Pao, who did become two of the final 16, and C.C. Strain, who acted as the tournament director for all of the SBE’s Amateur events, tour members Ada Lio, Kathy Friend, Eugenia Gyftopoulos, Judie Wilson and Shanna Lewis competed.

On Sunday morning, the final eight paired up in four quarterfinal matches. The marquee pairing among them featured the Fishers, who’d last met in the finals of the WPBA’s Northern Lights Classic last month. Joann Mason-Parker took on Caroline Pao, Jennifer Baretta faced Kim Newsome and Canada’s Veronique Menard matched up with Teruko Cucculelli.

In races to 11, Kelly Fisher defeated Allison Fisher 11-8 and Joann Mason Parker downed Caroline Pao 11-2. “9mm” Baretta shot down Kim Newsome 11-6 and Cucculelli eliminated Menard 11-9. In the semifinals that followed, Kelly Fisher defeated Mason-Parker 11-4 and in the finals, met Baretta, who’d defeated Cucculelli 11-4.

Fisher and Baretta traded racks through the first five games, after which Kelly was ahead 3-2. She added a rack, off Baretta’s break for a two-rack lead before Baretta came back with two to tie things for the third time at 4-4. Fisher won seven of the next eight games to claim the title.

Look for a report on the Diamond Open NineBall Professional Players Championship and the top finishers from the eight Amateur events in a separate report on these pages. 

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Ussery comes from the loss side to take VA State 10-Ball Championships

Manny Chau and BJ Ussery

Junior competitor Precilia Kinsley takes Ladies title

There were times, as the 2022 VA State 10-Ball Championships, held under the auspices of the Action Pool Tour, were playing out, that one might have thought they’d taken a wrong turn somewhere and ended up at an event on the Junior International Championships (JIC). In both the concurrently-run Open and Ladies tournament, held this past weekend (April 9-10), there was strong representation from the up-and-coming crowd of junior competitors.

Precilia Kinsley (15) won the Ladies event and though the Open event was won by BJ Ussery, Jr., it was a different kind of junior (Nathan Childress) who sent him to the loss side. Three of the five matches he played after that to get to the finals put him up against Childress a second time and two other prominent male juniors on the JIC roster, Joey Tate and Landon Hollingsworth. All four and Brent Worth, another player on the JIC, competed in the Open event. Kinsley went two-and-out, while Worth went three-and-out in that division. The event drew 46 Open competitors and 20 Ladies to Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA.

Ussery’s path to the Open finals was rolling along smoothly through his first three matches, in which he’d given up only one rack, against Luther Pickeral (0), Shane Buchanan (1) and Larry Kressel (0). Then, he ran into Childress, who defeated him 8-5. Childress advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Manny Chau. Hollingsworth became the second junior competitor in the winners’ side semifinals, having, on his way, given up only three racks, once, and two racks twice before facing Danny Mastermaker, who’d given up that many racks in his previous winners’ side quarterfinal win over Mac Harrell.

Mastermaker advanced to the hot seat match, sending Hollingsworth to the loss side 8-6. Chau joined him after downing Childress 8-4. Chau claimed the hot seat 8-1 over Mastermaker and waited on what he, with good reason, might have assumed was one of the three junior competitors still at work on the loss side.

On that loss side of the bracket, Childress drew Scott Roberts, who’d lost his opening match to Larry Kressel and was working on a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to come to an end. He’d recently survived two straight double-hill matches against Mac Harrell and Chris Bruner. Hollingsworth drew Ussery, who was working on his own loss-side streak and had recently defeated Reggie Jackson 7-1 and JIC competitor Joey Tate 7-3.

Ussery defeated Hollingsworth 7-3 and advanced to his quarterfinal rematch against Childress, who joined him after putting a stop to Roberts’ loss-side streak 7-1. A little older by a matter of hours and presumably a little wiser, Ussery, Jr. stepped to the proverbial ‘plate’ and battled Childress to a deciding 13th game, his only double hill match of the tournament, before eliminating him.

Ussery then defeated Mastermaker 7-3 in the semifinals and claimed the VA State 10-Ball Championship title with a 9-6 victory Chau in the finals.

Precilia Kinsley and Liz Taylor

Six from JIC (30% of the field) compete, Kinsley comes from the loss side to take the title

Like Ussery, Precilia Kinsley had to come from the loss side to win the Ladies division of the VA State 10-Ball Championships. The winners’ side semifinals in the Ladies tournament featured two juniors against each other in one and two veterans in the other.

Kinsley was one of the juniors. She’d gotten by Cheryl Pritchard and Buffy Jolie to face fellow junior competitor, Bethany Tate in their winners’ side semifinal. Liz Taylor, who, at the same venue, won last October’s VA State Ladies 9-Ball Championship, ran a sort of JIC young ladies’ gauntlet. Four of her five total opponents in the event were JIC competitors. She opened with a victory over Courtney Hairfield (who’d finished 5th/6th in the last JIC 18U Girls division event, two weeks ago) and Hayleigh Marion (double hill) before stepping into her winners’ side semifinal against someone much closer to her in age, Lisa Cossette.

Tate downed Kinsley 6-4, as Taylor was working on a 6-2 win over Cossette. Taylor claimed the hot seat 6-2 over Tate and waited on the return of her last junior competitor.

On the loss side, that competitor, Kinsley, drew fellow JIC competitor Hayleigh Marion, who’d recently eliminated Britt Faries 5-2 and yet another JIC competitor, Savanna Wolford, double hill. Cossette picked up Buffy Jolie, who’d survived a double hill fight versus Courtney Hairfield and defeated Bethany Sykes 5-2 to reach her.

Cossette downed Jolie 5-3 and in the quarterfinals, faced Kinsley, who’d survived a double hill match against Marion. Kinsley defeated Cossette 5-3 and in their semifinal rematch, eliminated Tate 5-3, as well. Kinsley and Taylor came within a game of double hill, but in the end, the youngster edged out in front of the woman who owns a number of VA State titles. Kinsley downed Taylor 7-5 to claim her first. 

A five-entrant Second Chance tournament was won by Chris Bruner, who took home $80 for the effort. Brian Sewell ($20) was runner-up

Tour directors Kris Wylie and Tiger Baker thanked the ownership and staff at Diamond Billiards, as well as sponsors George Hammerbacher and Haselman & Hunt, D.D.S., P.C. Family Dentistry (Haselman & Hunt.com). As the Action Pool Tour works on adding two more events to their 2022 calendar, the next scheduled event, to be held on the weekend of November 19-20, will bring the tour back to Diamond Billiards for the VA State 8-Ball Championships. 

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US and Canadian Teams Announced For World Junior Pool Championship

Three members of Team USA, Sofia Mast, Aryana Lynch and Tiana Jiang (Photo courtesy Roy Pastor)

While the recent changes in requirements for travel to Europe, have the event in a sort of limbo, the Billiard Congress of America is still proud to announce the participants who are slated to travel to Austria on October 6th – 10th for the Predator 2021 WPA World Junior 9-Ball Championships. 

The members of Team USA are:

Riley Adkins, Daniel Martin, Landon Hollingsworth, Joey Tate, Payne McBride, Kyle Yi, Jayden Liu, Niko Konkel, Harry Leinen, Aryana Lynch, Sofia Mast, Tiana Jiang, Savanna Wolford, Skylar Hess, Alice Adams, Hayleigh Marion and Kennedy Meyman

In addition to the seventeen players representing the USA, the BCA also announced that Arnaud Rakovich, Issac Yee and Haydar Ali Cappo are representing Team Canada at this event. 

As announced in a previous release from the BEF, “Allocations for the prestigious 2021 2021 WPA Predator World Junior Pool Championship, (…) will be provided to the highest placed finishers in the boys open 16 & Under and 18 & Under divisions, and in the girls open 18 & Under division”. With some candidates unable to travel to Austria, the BCA opened up invitations to the champions from the 14 & Under Girls, 16 & Under Girls and 14 & Under Boys Divisions. All three of these division winners are confirmed for Team USA.  

Some of these warriors are asking for help on social media to fund their trips to Austria, so if you see one of your favorite players on the list of players, check out their social media pages and help any way that you can. 

Hollingsworth Highlights Slate of New Junior National Champions

Landon Hollingsworth

With a total of ten divisions being contested over five days, the 2021 Billiard Education Foundation’s Junior National Championship at the South Point Hotel & Convention Center was going to have a number of players celebrating hard fought wins, but the player walking away with the most accolades was South Carolina’s Landon Hollingsworth.

Hollingsworth didn’t just turn in one undefeated performance. He went undefeated to win both the 18 & Under Boys Division and the 16 & Under Boys Division. Hollingsworth had an early scare in the 18 & Under Division, going hill-hill before beating Indiana’s Jake Sollman. After that win, it was pretty much smooth sailing as Hollingsworth won twenty three of his next twenty eight racks to take the hot-seat, defeating Ohio’s Riley Adkins in the process. Adkins made quick work of Eric Roberts in the semi-final match 7-1, and then took his best shot at Hollingsworth in the finals. In the end though, it was Hollingsworth with an 11-7 win over Adkins, for the division win.

Hollingsworth was tested in the 16 & Under Boys Division, not only by reigning 14 & Under Boys Division Winner (from 2019) Lazaro Martinez III, but also Joey Tate. After sending Tate to the one loss side in the final four on the winner’s side, Hollingsworth faced off against Martinez for the hot-seat, and Martinez took him to hill-hill before Hollingsworth won the match. Martinez then lost in the semi-final match to Tate, giving Tate an opportunity to avenge his that earlier loss to Hollingsworth. The final match was a close one, but didn’t start out that way. Hollingsworth rushed out to a 9-3 lead, before Tate turned it on and pulled back within two racks at 9-7. Tate kept up the pressure and was within one rack at 10-9 down when he missed a 9-ball while stretched across the table, to leave Hollingsworth with ball-in-hand on the case 9-ball for the title.

The two rack difference in the finals was stressful enough on the parents and fans in attendance, but the finals of the 14 & Under Division did them one better, with a hill-hill final match to determine the Champion. Minnesota’s Harry Leinen had defeated Kyle Yi, out of Texas, in a 9-5 hot-seat match. Yi was right back in the finals, and took Leinen to hill-hill before Leinen deposited the final 9-ball for the title.

Aryana Lynch

In the 18 & Under Girls Division, eventual winner Aryana Lynch was tested from the starting gun, as she won back to back hill-hill matches (Bailey Barber and Hayleigh Marion) to get things started. After a relatively stress free 7-2 win over Savanna Wolford, Lynch was again tested, this time by Tiana Jiang in Jiang’s first real competition in over a year. Lynch finally sent Jiang to the one-loss side 9-7 and Sofia Mast then defeated Jiang 7-3 to setup the final match between Mast and Lynch. That final match went Lynch’s way 11-6 for the title.

With all of the drama in the other divisions, the 16 & Under Girls Division really had very little drama to speak of. Minnesota’s Kennedy Meyman put on a 9-ball clinic, beating four opponents and not allowing one of them past two racks. Meyman’s final record for the entire division was thirty four wins out of a total of thirty nine racks. She defeated Elli Gonzales for the hot-seat and again in the finals by a combined record of 20-3.

The 14 & Under Girls division was the only division that had a defending champion involved in the finals. Reigning champion Skylar Hess took the hot-seat with a 9-8 win over Virginia’s Hayleigh Marion. Marion was back with a vengeance in the finals, and defeated Hess in another close match, 11-9, for the title.

This year’s event saw the addition of two new divisions for the players to compete in. The 10-ball division was open to any players 22 and younger in a unique “triple elimination” format. While players had to lose three matches to be eliminated from this one, Wisconsin’s Mason Koch showed that the best way to make sure you don’t lose three matches is to not lose any of them. Koch defeated Ricky Evans for the hot-seat, and then Florida’s Justin Toye in the finals.

The 8-ball division was also something new this year, and the field of 65 male and female competitors proved how popular it was. This division saw Lazaro Martinez III in the hot-seat, after a 3-0 win over brother Gabriel Martinez. In the finals though, it was Gabriel taking control and defeating Lazaro for the division win.

Also in play at this event, were two blind draw scotch doubles events that saw Lazaro Martinez III team up with Joey Tate to win the 22 & Under Scotch Division and Landon Hollingsworth teaming up with Savannah Easton to win the 16 & Under Division.

Dates are already set for the 2022 Junior National Championship and the event will take place on June 21st – 25th, right back at the South Point Hotel and Convention Center.

 

Clevinger and Atwell split top prizes on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Mike Skeens, Janet Atwell and Mike Clevinger

Tour raises $1,650 for Michael Putnam and family, owners of Papertown Billiards, Asheville

Mike Clevinger and room owner/professional competitor Janet Atwell opted out of a final match at this past weekend’s (June 12-13) stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, hosted by Atwell’s room, Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN. As the undefeated occupant of the hot seat at the time, Clevinger claimed the official event title. The event drew 39 entrants.

In addition to the event itself, the tour organized a fund raiser to benefit Michael Putnam and his family. Michael, co-owner with his wife, Alicia, of Papertown Billiards in Asheville, NC, is currently on a ventilator, coping with complications related to COVID. The tour was able to raise $1,650 to donate to his family. Members of the pool community wishing to contribute to the ongoing campaign should reach out to Janet Atwell, a personal friend of the Putnams, who competes in a regularly scheduled Papertown Ladies Tour, run by Alicia Putnam. Atwell can be reached via the Borderline Billiards page on Facebook.

Of particular note at this most recent event was the performance of junior competitor, Hayleigh Marion, 14, who is the #7-ranked player in the 18-and-under Girls division of the ongoing series of Junior International Championships being held regularly under the auspices of On the Wire Creative Media. Marion, who is mentored and taught by Janet Atwell, signed on to compete in this event, won two matches on the winners’ side and then, five on the loss side, advancing to the quarterfinals, when she met and was defeated by Atwell. A familiar face on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, Marion and Yoshiaki Kanamura competed as a doubles team on the tour last March and claimed the event title. In June 2020, Marion and Atwell played as a doubles team on the tour and finished in the tie for 5th place. 

Eventual, official winner this past weekend, Mike Clevinger advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Chris Cowan, while Mike Skeens squared off against Janet Atwell. Clevinger sent Cowan to the loss side 6-3, while Skeens downed Atwell 5-4 (Atwell racing to 7). Clevinger claimed the hot seat in what proved to be his last match with a 6-1 victory over Skeens.

On the loss side, Cowan was the one who drew Hayleigh Marion, four matches into her loss-side streak, having most recently eliminated David Hopkins 5-3 and Reid Vance (racing to 7), 4-2. Prior to being defeated by Marion, Vance had defeated her former doubles partner, Yoshiaki Kanamura. Atwell picked up Ricky Chitwood, who’d shut out Joe Blackburn (responsible for sending Marion to the loss side) and downed Amanda Mann 6-1.

Atwell ended Chitwood’s run 7-2, as her pupil was busy eliminating Chris Cowan 4-2. Atwell then defeated her student 7-0 in the quarterfinals.

In what proved to be the last match of the event, Atwell downed Mike Skeens in the semifinals. She and Clevinger agreed to the split and Clevinger claimed the official title.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked Atwell and her Borderline Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, BarPoolTables.net, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., AZBilliards, Federal Savings Bank mortgage division and Diamond Brat.

The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend, June 19-20, will feature two events, a 9-ball tournament and a limited-entry (16; $100 entry fee) One Pocket tournament. The events will be hosted by Railbird Billiards in Hickory, NC.

Junior International Championship Player of the Month – Hayleigh Marion

Hayleigh Marion

Our first Junior International Championship Player of the Month is none other than Hayleigh Marion from Bristol Virginia.

When selecting Hayleigh this month, Junior International Championship Tour Director Ra Hanna noted her tenacity and drive at the table. He mentioned a recent match that saw Hayleigh trailing early, before she came back to grind out a hill-hill win against a player who has since become a friend away from the table. “When I’m down in a match, I get more motivated and confident. I know I have to focus more on the table.” said Marion. “She got HEART” said Hanna in his inimitable style. While acknowledging Hayleigh’s dedication at the table, her Mom also points out her positive attitude. “To watch Hayleigh play you would see this young lady is fierce, she has fire in her eyes when she plays but, it also very humble. She has even told me ‘Mom it’s not about winning it’s about learning and getting better and having fun’. That is exactly what Hayleigh is doing. She is pursuing her passion. Hayleigh on / off the table keeps such a great attitude, you would never know if she made an exceptional shot or if she just dogged the ball and lost the game. She really never changes her reactions. “

Hayleigh has been playing the pool since the age of 8, when she first met WPBA Touring Professional Janet Atwell during a trip to Borderline Billiards in Bristol, Tennessee with her father Jamie. “That night was the very first time Hayleigh had ever picked up a pool cue and since then I can say she has never put it down.” says her Mom Robin. Atwell fondly remembers that night too. “Her very first trip to Borderline was with her dad and his friend. They didn’t want her to play because she was so young. I saw her crying because she couldn’t play. I came from behind the bar,
approached and asked if she would be my partner. We teamed up and played a couple of guys on the next table. I set her up on the 8-ball and she made the winning shot her first time ever playing the game. From there, she was hooked.”

While Hayleigh had previously had an interest in softball in school, that night with Atwell was all that it took for softball to be replaced in Hayleigh’s life. “I think it (pool) brings out my competitive side” said the young champion. “When you are out there playing, it’s all to you”.

An 8th place finish at the Junior event at the Super Billiards Expo got her the attention of Pechauer Cues and she was quickly offered a place on Team Pechauer. Hayleigh knew that sponsorship would mean more commitment, but she took on that challenge and hasn’t looked back since.

Hayleigh dedicates 4-8 hours to practice on the table most days, while still maintaining her place on her school’s honor roll. “I’ve always put school before pool. I will do my work at the pool hall and study even when I’m practicing sometimes.” explained Marion. “This past year Hayleigh has kept straight A’s and received a letter from a local congressman congratulating her for her efforts. Hayleigh’s school supports her playing pool, even cheering her on asking about her tournaments and posting things on social media.” said Mom.

Hayleigh Marion

While the like of a junior pool player doesn’t have an honor roll, if it did have one, there is no question that Hayleigh would be proudly sitting in it too. Hayleigh has a 5th place and a 2nd place finish at the Junior Nationals and won her first open ladies event in 2019 with a win at Steakhorse Billiards in South Carolina. Hayleigh also competed alongside Atwell at the Virginia State 10-Ball Championship. She had attended this event in the past, to cheer on Atwell, but she competed in the event in 2020 and turned in a 5th place finish.

Hayleigh is not just interested in winning tournaments though. She is a member of Borderline Billiards TAP league and she runs weekly tournaments on Thursday nights. “Hayleigh is a very active part of Borderline. I call her my little kitchen manager and tournament director. She helps in the kitchen and directs my weekly tournaments at Borderline.” says Atwell. Hayleigh also tries to encourage other junior players and bring them to the game. A trip to the local Boys and Girl’s Club in 2020 led Hayleigh to discovering that the pool tables there needed to be recovered. Hayleigh took it upon herself to a message to Simonis and get them to donate new cloth for the tables and they are scheduled to be redone this year.

Hayleigh’s short term goals include getting a win at one of the Junior International Championship tour stops and then hopefully wins at the Junior Nationals and maybe a spot on Team USA at the Junior World Championships. Long term, she hopes to join Atwell as a WPBA Touring Professional.

Hayleigh is currently sponsored by Pechauer Custom Cues, Borderline Billiards, Brutal Game Gear and Outsville Pool and Billiards. She is currently being coached by Janet Atwell, who she thanks for all her help at the table. “She’s gone from a very shy little girl, to a very mature young lady. She is dedicated to game in every way. She has a routine practice regimen that she does every week.” said Atwell. Hayleigh also thanks Ra Hanna for everything he does for the juniors, and her local coach Alex for the work he does with juniors at Borderline Billiards.

We offer our congratulations to Hayleigh Marion for being named the April Junior International Championship Player of the Month, and we can’t wait to follow her career in the game moving forward.

This article originally appeared in the April 2021 issue of the Billiards Buzz Online Publication.

Marion and Kanamura take home doubles title on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Yoshiaki Kanamura and Hayleigh Marion

While the vast majority of pool tournaments feed into a system that defines various levels of competition based on a player’s performance at them, there is a breed of tournament action that doesn’t really care whether you win, lose or fall somewhere in between. They’re called Scotch Doubles Tournaments and while they are competitive in so far as those who participate are certainly invested in winning, they’re more of a crowd- and player-pleasing exercise which has a way of emphasizing fun rather than player stats and grim-faced battles for dominance at the tables.

Every once in a while, say a number of tournament directors from all across the landscape, you have to throw one or two into a tournament schedule, because they’re popular and because, as Paul Simon said so aptly in his song, it’s a good idea to “keep your customer(s) satisfied.”

The Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball tour tossed one into their schedule last weekend, March 6-7, and drew a crowd of 18 teams of two to Jac’s All-American Billiards in Newport, TN. An unexpected pair of competitors made it through the event to claim the event title. It’s not that teenager Hayleigh Marion and early 20-something Yoshiaki Kanamura, playing at a 9 handicap as a team (5 & 4), faced high tier competition at this event. There wasn’t a chance that they’d be running into Wei Tzu-Chien and Shane Van Boening, for example, but tour veterans Reid Vance and Hank Powell, sporting a combined ‘15’ handicap were there, as were 16 other teams sporting players of relatively high caliber.

Team Yoshiaki worked their way through the field to arrive at the hot seat and while they lost the subsequent first set of a double elimination final, they came back to claim the second set and the title. It was only the second time that Hayleigh Marion had ever cashed at an event, the first being a Scotch Doubles Tournament at Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC last June, when she and Janet Atwell finished in the tie for 5th place and won $30; combined, not each. We have not, until this past weekend, recorded any data regarding Marion’s partner, Mr. Kanamura.

They faced Rodney Huskey and Ricky Bingham (some teams gave themselves names, others didn’t) in one of the winners’ side semifinals, as Team Chitwood (Ricky Chitwood & Josh Swindell) squared off against Team Supershaft (James Price & Robert Ingold). Team Yoshiaki downed Huskey/Bingham 5-2, as Team Chitwood sent Team Supershaft west, double hill (8-4).

With Team Chitwood racing to 8, Team Yoshiaki claimed the hot seat 5-4.

On the loss side, Team Supershaft picked up Team Hightower (Jimmy Hightower & Jose Irizarry), who’d just defeated the aforementioned Reid Vance & Hank Powell 5-1 to reach them. Huskey/Bingham drew Louis Chandler & Dakota Waldrip, who’d eliminated Cory Morphew and Steve Summerlin 5-3 to reach them.

Two double hill matches ensued for advancement to the quarterfinals, both won by the recently-arrived-from-the-winners’-side team; Huskey/Bingham downing Chandler/Waldrip 6-4 and Supershaft eliminating Team Hightower 5-7. Team Supershaft won the next two for a shot at Team Yoshiaki in the finals. They defeated Huskey/Bingham in the quarterfinals 5-2 and then, Team Chitwood in the semifinals 5-4 (Team Chitwood racing to 8).

You might say that going into the finals, Team Supershaft was aided and abetted by double the momentum of singles competition. However you describe it, Team Supershaft took the opening set of the true double elimination final 5-2. Team Yoshiaki, though, came back to win the second set 5-1 and claim the title; (according to our records) the first of any kind for either member of the team.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Jac’s All-American Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, BarPoolTables.net, AZBilliards, 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, March 13-14, will be a $1,000-added ($1,500 with 64+) event, hosted by Sonny’s Billiards in Princeton, WV.

Fowler and Duncan win Scotch Double event on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Justin Duncan and Billy Fowler

In a final, race-to-six match that took 12 minutes, Billy Fowler and Justin Duncan defeated Kevin Ping and Tony Wall in the second set of a true double elimination final at the May 30-31 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. The $500-added Scotch Doubles event drew 48 teams of two to Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC.

 

The event finalists met first in the hot seat match. Fowler and Duncan had sent Hayleigh Marion, a junior player, and Janet Atwell to the loss side 6-4. Ping and Wall had defeated Team Abernathy (brothers Jeff and John) 6-3. Two out of three of the matches that Fowler/Duncan and Ping/Wall played went double hill and the hot seat match was the first of them. Fowler/Duncan claimed the hot seat and waited for Ping/Wall to get back from the semifinals.

 

Over on the loss side, Team Abernathy picked up Landon Hollingsworth and Junior Gabriel, who’d recently eliminated Justin Clark and Hank Powell 6-1 and Keno Patel and Steve Gerardi 6-3. Hayleigh/Atwell drew Hunter Zayas and Dalton Messer, who’d defeated Clay Davis and Kris Bower 6-2, and Joey Tate and Anthony Mabe 6-4 to reach them.

 

In the first money round, battling to get into the quarterfinals, Zayas and Messer leapfrogged into those quarterfinals when Hayleigh and Atwell could not return to compete on Sunday and forfeited. Team Abernathy, in the meantime, survived a double hill battle against Hollingsworth/Gabriel and joined Zayas/Messer.

 

A double hill fight eventually sent Ping and Wall to the semifinals over Zayas/Messer. Ping and Wall earned their second shot against Fowler/Duncan with a 6-4 win over Zayas/Messer.

 

In their second of three, the opening set of the true double elimination final, the two teams went double hill, before Ping and Wall prevailed to force a second set. Once the second match got underway, tour director Herman Parker chose to take a step outside. When he returned, moments later, the match was half over at 3-0 in favor of Fowler and Duncan.

 

According to Parker, the Fowler/Duncan team had chalked up three 9-ball combinations in a row to win those opening three games. They kept that pace up, and completed the second-set shutout that earned them 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 will be held this weekend, June 6-7, and hosted by Randolph Billiards in Hickory, NC.