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Fowler stops loss-side streak by Belton to go undefeated on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Billy Fowler

It’s been a good year for Billy Fowler, his best since he entered our database in 2004, when he won a stop on the old Viking Cue 9-Ball Tour. On Saturday, blending into early Sunday this past weekend (Sept. 17), Fowler was in the hot seat, waiting for Antonio Belton to complete a nine-match, loss-side winning streak on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. Fowler went on to remain undefeated and claim his first 2022 title and seventh overall on the tour. The $250-added event brought 37 entrants to West End Billiards in Gastonia, NC.

With Belton already at work on the loss side of the bracket, having lost his opening match to Dustin Barkley, Fowler advanced to a winners’ side semifinal versus Kirk Hixon. Zach Martin, in the meantime, squared off against Matt Lucas.

Both matches to determine who’d play for the hot seat went double hill; Fowler over Hixon 10-5 (Hixon racing to 6) and Martin over Lucas 6-5. Fowler dominated the hot seat match 10-3, dispatching Martin to a semifinal versus Belton. 

On the loss side, it was Lucas who drew Belton, six matches into his loss-side streak that had just eliminated Jonathan Ailstock and Katie Bischoff, both 5-3 (Bischoff had spoiled Belton’s opportunity for a rematch against Barkley by defeating him 5-3 in the previous round). Hixon picked up David Honeycutt, who’d defeated Trevor Stanley 6-3 and Matt Lowe, double hill, to reach him.

Hixon got back on the winning track with a 6-4 win over Honeycutt, while Belton handed Lucas his second straight loss with a double hill win. Belton then downed Hixon 5-2 in the quarterfinals.

With eight down and at most, three to go (he would have to defeat Fowler twice in a true double elimination final), Belton chalked up loss-side win #9, eliminating Martin 5-4 (Martin racing to 6).

Fowler apparently wanted no part in a drawn out final match (or two). He gave up only a single rack to Belton in the only set necessary to claim the event title.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at West End Billiards for their hospitality, along with title sponsor Viking Cues, Breaktime Billiards (Winston-Salem, NC), BarPoolTables.net, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat, AZBilliards.com, Ridge Back Rails, and Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division. The Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour will travel to New Bern, NC this coming weekend, Sept. 24-25, for a $250-added event at Mickey Milligan’s.

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Messer and Piercy split top prizes on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

The two competitors who squared off in the finals of the Saturday, April 23 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour – Dalton Messer and Kelly Piercy – have never (to our knowledge) cashed on any other tour. Messer chalked up his first and until this weekend, only win on the tour in the week between Christmas and New Year’s, 2018. Piercy’s tour efforts came close to a victory in 2020, when he won nine on the loss side and in the finals, challenged junior competitor Landon Hollingsworth, who completed an undefeated run to claim that title. Though Messer downed Piercy in the hot seat on Saturday, the two of them opted out of a final match and split the top two prizes, leaving Messer, in the hot seat, as the official winner. The $500-added event drew 26 entrants to Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC.

Their first and only meetup followed Messer and Piercy’s advance through the field, arriving at winner’s side semifinal matches versus Thomas Sansone (for Messer) and Reid Vance (for Piercy). Messer downed Sanson 6-3, as Piercy sent Vance to the loss side 6-5 (Vance racing to 8). Messer claimed the hot seat 6-4 in what proved to be the title-claiming match.

Vance and Sansone arrived on the loss side of the double-elimination bracket, looking to advance just one match to compete in the event’s first money round. They didn’t make it. Stevie McClinton, who’d recently eliminated Kirk Hixon 7-5 and Billy Fowler 7-6 (Fowler racing to 10), added Sansone to that list, downing him 7-4 to advance to the quarterfinals. Vance drew Runal Bhat, who’d just defeated Jose Irizarry 7-3 and Casey Looper, double hill, and then defeated Vance 7-4 to join McClinton in the quarterfinals.

McClinton and Bhat almost made it to double hill in those quarterfinals, but McClinton edged out in front at the end, winning 7-5 for a shot at Piercy in the semifinals. Piercy put a stop to McClinton 6-2 in those semifinals, before negotiating the financial split with Messer and calling it a night. 

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Break & Run Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, BarPoolTables.net, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat, AZBilliards.com, Ridge Back Rails, and Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend (April 30-May 1), will be a $500-added event, hosted by Sonny’s Billiards in Princeton, WV.

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Heeter gets back into the swing of things with a win on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Josh Heeter

Between the two of them, they hadn’t cashed in more than five events in just over a year, all in competition on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. Kirk Hixon finished third on a tour stop last October, while Josh Heeter finished in the tie for 5th at the NC 9-Ball Open and 9th at another stop, both in February, 2020. They had each also competed in a single 2021 stop; Heeter finishing in another tie for 5th last month (Feb.) and Hixon finishing in the tie for 9th at the Tour Championships in January.

They met in the finals of this past weekend’s stop in Chesnee, SC (Saturday, March 27). Heeter went undefeated to claim the title, but not before facing Hixon, who’d been defeated in the third round and won seven on the loss side to meet him in the finals. The $500-added event drew 46 entrants to Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC. 

Heeter had worked his way through the field to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Terry Cannon. Steven Ellis, who’d sent Hixon to the loss side in the third round, advanced to meet Kelly Piercy in the other one. 

Ellis downed Piercy 6-4 and moved into the hot seat match against Heeter, who’d sent Cannon to the loss side 9-2. It became the first (recorded) time that Heeter had ever battled for the hot seat. In all of his ‘cashed’ appearances, in which he had finished either 2nd, 3rd, or won an event, dating back to 2012, he’d come from the loss side. In the win, his first major tournament win, in January 2019, he lost his opening match and won 11 on the loss side to meet and defeat Brian White in the finals. He won a little less than half that number of matches to reach and win the hot seat match this time out, downing Ellis 9-4.

On the loss side, Cannon ran into Dustin Lackey, who’d defeated Kevin Price 7-2 and survived a double hill match against Gary South. Piercy picked up Hixon, who’d picked up loss-side wins #3 and #4 against Matt Gibson 6-2 and Marty Opyd 6-3. With Lackey racing to 7, Cannon dropped him 5-5. Hixon eliminated Piercy 6-3.

Picking up a bit of speed, Hixon eliminated Cannon in the quarterfinals by shutting him out, and turning for a re-match against Ellis in the semifinals. Hixon defeated Ellis 6-3 for shot at Heeter in the hot seat.

Looking for only his second victory on the tour, though, Heeter was not to be denied. He defeated Hixon 9-3 to claim the event title. 

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Break & Run Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, BarPoolTables.net, AZBilliards, Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division and Dirty South Grind Apparel Co.  The Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour will be off this coming Easter weekend. A location for an event on the following weekend (April 10-11) has yet to be determined; check in with the tour’s FB page for up-to-date information on the next stop.

Hollingsworth & Messer split top prizes on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Ryan “Hollywood” Hollingsworth

Ryan Hollingsworth (no relation to Landon Hollingsworth) and Dalton Messer had two opportunities to compete against each other during the recent (Oct. 3) stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. They opted out of both of them and since, in the first instance, it was Messer who chose not to play, Hollingsworth ended up as the official winner of the $500-added event that had drawn a short field of 18 entrants to VFW Post #9811 in King’s Mountain, NC. The tour donated $110 to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Hollingsworth and Messer advanced to their respective winners’ side semifinal matches; Hollingsworth facing Damon Kimbrell, while Messer squared off against Hunter Zayas. Hollingsworth sent Kimbrell to the loss side 8-4. Messer and Zayas fought to double hill before Messer prevailed for the opportunity to face Hollingsworth in the hot seat match. The match never happened, because Messer forfeited.

On the loss side, Kimbrell met up with Stevie McClinton, who’d chalked up a tour win last month in Gastonia, NC. McClinton had recently survived a double hill win over Landon Hollingsworth and defeated Josh Miller 7-3. Zayas drew Kirk Hixon, who’d been defeated by Kimbrell in a winners’ side quarterfinal and then won two straight double hill matches, versus Junior Gabriel and Marc Rochester.

Hixon stretched his loss-side winning streak to three with a 6-3 victory over Rochester, as Kimbrell eliminated McClinton 6-4. Hixon chalked up what proved to be his last loss-side win in a double hill, quarterfinal rematch against Kimbrell. Messer ended Hixon’s bid for a shot against Ryan Hollingsworth with a 6-2 semifinal win that ended the event.

Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked VFW Post #9811, 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. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for Oct. 10-11, will be a $500-added event, hosted by another new venue for the tour – Sonny’s Billiards and Bistro, in Princeton, WV.

Brady goes undefeated to capture Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball title in Piedmont, SC

Norris Brady

What the Saturday, June 30 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour lacked in attendance, it more than made up for with a set of tight, double-hill competitive matches in the event’s final 14. Six of those final 14 matches went double hill, including the last two won by Norris Brady, who completed an undefeated run by winning the hot seat and finals that way. The $200-added event drew 21 entrants to Pal’s Billiards in Piedmont, SC.
 
 Brady faced different opponents in the hot seat and finals of this one. He advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Colby King, as his eventual opponent in the finals, Steven Ellis, squared off against Dalton Messer. Brady sent King to the loss side 9-3, as Messer sent Ellis over in one of the six double hill matches. Brady and Messer fought another one, battling for the hot seat. Brady won it and waited on the return of Ellis.
 
On the loss side, Ellis picked up Brian Bagwell, who’d gotten by Kirk Hixon, double hill, and Shane Copeland 7-3. King drew Tom Manley, who’d eliminated James Hall 5-2 and then, his own cousin, Sammy Manley 5-3. Ellis downed Bagwell 6-3, and in the quarterfinals, faced Manley, who’d defeated King 5-1.
 
It was all double hill fights from here to the finals. Ellis downed Manley, double hill, in the quarterfinals, and then, eliminated Messer that way in the semifinals. With Ellis racing to 6, Brady completed his undefeated run through the field with a first-set, double hill win over Ellis.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Pal’s Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend (July 7-8) will be hosted by Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN.
 

Ward wins nine on the loss side, and double dips Hixon to take Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball title

Scott Ward

Scott Ward won 11 matches in a row to win the February 24-25 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour; his first on the tour. He won nine of those 11 matches after losing his opening match, and the last two in the double elimination finals against Kirk Hixon. The $200-added event drew 38 entrants to Pal’s Bar & Billiards in Piedmont, SC.
 
After he’d sent Ward to the loss side in the opening round, Jim Jennings eventually advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against David Shipman. Hixon, in the meantime, whose father, Brett, owns Pal’s Bar & Billiards, squared off against Ryan Hollinsworth in the other winners’ side semifinal. Shipman prevailed 6-4 over Jennings, sending him over to the loss side for an immediate re-match against Ward. Hixon Hollinsworth 6-7 (Hollinsworth racing to 9). Hixon laid claim the hot seat 6-2 over Shipman and waited for Ward to complete his loss-side run.
 
When Jennings ran into his re-match against Ward, Ward was six matches into his loss-side run, and had most recently eliminated teenager Landon Hollinsworth 8-3 and Don Lilly 8-6 (Lilly was looking for his fourth win on the tour since late January). Ryan Hollinsworth picked up David Lassiter, who’d defeated Scott Thorne and Chris Zayas, both 6-3, to reach him.
 
Jennings put up a double hill fight in his re-match against Ward, but Ward finished it to advance to the quarterfinals. Lassiter defeated Hollinsworth 6-1 and joined him. Ward and Lassiter battled to double hill, as well, and for the second time in a row, Ward came out on top.
 
Apparently dissatisfied with the double hill idea, Ward came out gunning in the semifinals against Shipman and shut him out. He carried that momentum into the finals and defeated Hixon twice (8-3, 8-4) to claim the event title.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the Hixons and their staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour will be the 4th Annual North Carolina State 9-Ball Championships. Scheduled for the weekend of March 3-4, the $500-added event ($1,000-added with a full field of 64), with its defending champion, Mike Davis expected to be in attendance, will be hosted by Brass Tap in Raleigh, NC.

Fowler goes undefeated to claim Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball title in Spartanburg, SC

Moving into the winners' side semifinals of a Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour stop, held on the weekend of March 4-5, it took two double hill wins against separate opponents for Billy Fowler to go undefeated and claim the title. The $500-added event drew 59 entrants to Cue Time in Spartanburg, SC.
 
The first of those two double hill wins came in one of the two winners' side semifinals, as Fowler sent Matt Bulfin to the loss side 7-8 (Bulfin racing to 9). Kirk Hixon, in the meantime, sent Fowler's eventual finals opponent, Bobby McGrath, to the loss side, in another double hill match (6-9; Hixon, racing to 10). By comparison, Fowler got into the hot seat easily, defeating Hixon 7-2.
 
On the loss side, Bulfin picked up Clay Davis, recent winner over Cameron Lawhorne 6-3, and Matt Mancini 6-5. McGrath drew Rocky Hawkes (both racing to 10), who'd just eliminated Michael Vinesett 7-1, and Steven Driggers 7-4.
 
Bulfin downed Davis, double hill (9-5), and in the quarterfinals, met up with McGrath, who, in a straight-up race to 10, had eliminated Hawkes 10-5. In a 10-9 race, McGrath then defeated Bulfin 10-3. With Hixon racing to 6 in the semifinals, McGrath ended his run 10-4 for a shot at Fowler in the hot seat. With McGrath racing to his 10, Fowler completed his undefeated run with a 7-7 victory in the finals.
 
Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Time, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend (March 11-12), will be hosted by Corner Pockets in Fayetteville, NC.

Duncan goes undefeated on Q City 9-Ball Tour, splits top prizes with Burke

As the two presidential candidates banter back and forth about their stamina (or lack, thereof), pool players have to be thinking that if that's a significant qualification, they should be up there trading thoughts with the candidates. The grind of a weekend tournament, or a single-day tournament that ends up racing the dawn are common on the pool circuit, and often, when it comes down to a final that could well be lit by natural daylight, the two opponents figure that the prize differential between the top two cash amounts is not significant enough to warrant playing that final game. So it was, on Saturday, September 24, when Justin Duncan and Greg Burke, after a full day, opted out of their final match on the Viking Cues' Q-City 9-Ball Tour. Having defeated Burke once, and sitting in the hot seat, Duncan claimed the official title, as 3 a.m. loomed on the event horizon. The $500-added event drew 39 entrants to Legends Billiards in Inman, SC.
 
They met first in a winners' side semifinal, when it was still Saturday. Aaron McClure, in the meantime, squared off against Kirk Hixon. Duncan downed Burke 5-3, and in the hot seat match faced McClure, who'd sent Hixon west 6-3. Duncan claimed the hot seat over McClure in a hard fought double hill battle, which proved to be his last.
 
On the loss side, Jim Jennings was doing his level best to get a shot against Duncan. An opening round bye was followed by a loss to Thomas Jones, at which point, Jennings went on a six-match, loss-side streak that would take him as far as the quarterfinals. Three matches in to that streak, he downEd Scott Ward 7-3, and then, wreaked his vengeance on Jones, defeating him 7-1, to draw Hixon. Burke drew Boyd Best, who'd won two straight double hill matches, against Steve Ellis and Romeo Malonzo, to reach him.
 
Jennings advanced to the quarterfinals with a 7-4 victory over Hixon. Burke joined him after allowing Best only a single rack in their matchup. Burke ended Jennings' streak in those quarterfinals, but not before Jennings forced a case game to decide it.
 
In what would prove to be the final match of the event, Burke downed McClure in the semifinals 7-2. Duncan and Burke opted out of the final, leaving the undefeated Duncan to claim the event title.
 
Tour director Herman Parker thanked Legends Billiards' co-owners Marty Opyd and April Bradley and their staff, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta-13 racks and Ruthless Billiards. The next stop on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the weekend of October 1-2, will be hosted by Randolph's in Hickory, NC.