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Underwood and Spikes split top prizes on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Jeffrey Underwood

Jeff Underwood has won two out of the three events in which he has competed on the 2021 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. They are the only known instances of him finishing in a position to collect some cash. The two victories have both come as a result of him finishing an event as the undefeated occupant of the hot seat and negotiating a settlement of the top two cash payouts with his potential finals competitor. The first time he did this, last month (March), he split the top two prizes with Hank Powell. This past weekend, Saturday, April 18, he split the top two prizes with Glen Spikes. The $200-added event drew 27 entrants to Mickey Milligan’s in New Bern, NC.

Underwood and Spikes advanced through the field to meet first in the hot seat match. Underwood faced Jorge Ramos in one of the winners’ side semifinals, while Spikes faced Sheign Krafczik in the other one. Underwood downed Ramos 6-3, as Spikes was busy sending Krafczik to the loss side 5-3. In effect, they both let their hot seat encounter stand as the deciding match; Underwood won it 6-3.

On the loss side, Krafczik and Ramos ran straight into their second loss. Krafczik met up with Justin Knuckles, who’d lost to Underwood in a winners’ side quarterfinal, defeated Jack Whitfield, double hill and then, shut out Justin Outlaw. Ramos picked up Greg Smith, who’d recently eliminated DJ Brads 8-3 and Delton Howard 8-6.

Knuckles defeated Krafczik 5-3, while Smith and Ramos battled to double hill. Smith prevailed and moved into the quarterfinals against Knuckles. Knuckles and Smith got into a double hill fight, as well, with Knuckles eventually advancing to what proved to be the last match of the evening, the semifinals against Spikes. 

Spikes won the semifinals over Knuckles 5-2. He and Underwood negotiated their split, leaving Underwood, as the hot seat occupant, the recipient of the official event title.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked Gerry Shepherd and his Mickey Milligan’s 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 coming weekend, April 24-25, will be hosted by Buck’s Billiards in Raleigh, NC.

Underwood and Powell split top prizes on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Jeff Underwood

Jeff Underwood is something of a newcomer to the AZB Money Leaderboard, having cashed in only two (recorded) events so far; one, this past January when he tied for 7th/8th on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour and on the same tour this past weekend (March 20-21), when, as the occupant of the hot seat, he became the official winner of the $500-added event that drew 38 entrants to Randolph’s Billiards in Hickory, NC. Underwood and Hank Powell (who’d won the January event in which Underwood had competed) played one set of a true double elimination final. Powell won it, giving them each a single loss, when they opted out of a final match and split the top two cash prizes.

Underwood and Powell had recently had their handicaps raised and seemed to prove that they’d earned that upgrade by both making it to the winners’ side semifinals. Underwood faced Bruce Campbell, as Powell squared off against Jonathan Ailstock. Underwood advanced to the hot seat match with a 6-3 victory over Campbell. Powell, though, moved to the loss side, courtesy of Ailstock, who, with Powell racing to 8, defeated him 6-6. Ailstock ended up on the wrong side of his second straight double hill match, as Underwood claimed the hot seat 6-5.

Powell began his three-match journey back to the finals against Chuck Ritchie, who’d defeated Gary South 7-3 and Scott Howard, double hill, to reach him. Campbell drew Andy Bowden, who’d recently eliminated Jeff Abernathy and Jason Rogers, both 5-6 (Abernathy racing to 9 and Rogers to 8). 

In the first money round and what proved to be Saturday night’s final matches, Bowden downed Campbell 5-1. He would be joined in the quarterfinals by Powell, who’d sent Ritchie home (late on Saturday night) 8-2.

On Sunday, the final four returned and commenced with the quarterfinals. Powell began the day the same way he’d ended Saturday, with an 8-2 win, this time, over Bowden. It set up a semifinal rematch between Powell and Ailstock, both looking for a second shot at the somewhat ‘new kid on the block,’ Underwood, waiting in the hot seat.

Powell prevailed 8-4 over Ailstock and launched into the opening set of the true double elimination final. He won that set by the same score as he’d defeated Ailstock 8-4, at which point, he and Underwood began negotiating their split of the top two prizes.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Randolph’s Billiards, 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 27-28, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC.