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Ringgold adds to his list of victories (the most) on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

JT Ringgold

Eight months ago, with a distinct ‘home field’ advantage playing in his home town of New Bern, NC at Mickey Milligan’s Billiards, JT Ringgold chalked up what was his 13th overall victory on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. It was seven more than his closest competitor in the category, and the last time, in a handicapped tournament, that he would race to 10. On Saturday, June 15, Ringgold returned to Mickey Milligan’s to win his 14th event title on the tour. Unlike the quest for #13, #14 started and stayed on the winners’ side of the bracket. The 13th featured an opening-round loss, seven wins on the loss side (with an aggregate score of 74-16) and a double dip win in the final that saw him win all but three of the 23 matches he played. The 14th title came at the end of four matches, two of them against Justin Clark. The 13th title event drew 18 entrants to Mickey Milligan’s. The $250-added, 14th title event drew 15.
 
Ringgold and Clark met first in a winners’ side semifinal (match #3), as Larry Pierce and Ron Sellers squared off in the other one. Pierce sent Sellers to the loss side in a shutout, as Ringgold took his first of two over Clark 11-4. Ringgold settled into the hot seat after an 11-3 win over Pierce.
 
Sellers and Clark moved to the loss side and entered the matches that would determine whether they had a chance of going home with any cash. Clark did. Sellers didn’t. Clark got into the first-money-round quarterfinals with a 6-3 win over Matt Raden, who’d eliminated Walter Berry and Chris McSorley, both 7-3, to reach him. Danny Farren, who’d defeated Lisa Cossette 7-3 and Robert Perez 7-5, eliminated Sellers 7-1.
 
The next two battles were hotly contested, representing, as they did, a difference of $100 between the quarterfinal and semifinal winners and losers. Clark dropped Farren out of the race, double hill, in the quarterfinal to send him home with $50. Clark then eliminated Danny Pierce, double hill in the semifinals and saw him pocket $150.
 
The financial gap between 1st and 2nd place was $150 ($400/$250) and the battle for it, just as fierce. Clark, granted five on the wire at the beginning of a race to 11, chalked up one more rack against Ringgold than he had in the winners’ side semifinal and forced a 16th deciding game, but Ringgold added a 14th notch to his Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball ‘gun’ with an 11-5 win.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Mickey Milligan’s, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, 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 (June 22-23), will be a $1,500-added event, hosted by a new venue for the tour – Break and Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC. 

Carroll downs Poste twice to go undefeated on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Billy Carroll

Though Billy Carroll and JR Poste share the headline for the story emerging out of the August 11-12 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, it should be noted that the player who finished third has more than earned his spot in the story’s opening sentence. While it may be a little early to declare that BJ Ussery is ‘back’ from something of an extended leave of absence from high level pool competition, his performance at this most recent event is, at least, a sure sign that he’s still a force to be reckoned with.

 

But first, Carroll and Poste, who met twice in the $250-added event, which drew 23 entrants to Mickey Milligan’s in New Bern, NC. With Ussery already at work on the loss side, Carroll advanced through the field to face Robert Perez in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Poste drew Travis Guerra in the other one.

 

Carroll downed Perez 7-4 and in the hot seat match, faced Poste, who’d sent Guerra to the loss side 6-3. Carroll claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Poste, and waited on his return, or, possibly, if he had any sense of pool history, the return of Ussery.

 

On the loss side, it was Guerra who drew Ussery, four matches into his six-match, loss-side winning streak that had most recently included wins over Zac Leonard 11-5 and a shutout of Kameron Johnson. Perez drew Larry Pierce, who’d eliminated Jordan Oak 6-2 and Greg Smith 6-5 (it was Smith who’d sent Ussery to the loss side in the event’s second round).

 

In the first money round, Pierce downed Perez 6-3, as Ussery was busy allowing Guerra only a single rack in an 11-1 victory. In the quarterfinals that followed, Ussery defeated Pierce 11-4.

 

In what was essentially a handicapped race to 11, Poste began the semifinals with ‘five on the wire.’ He and Ussery both chalked up six racks, but the handicapped advantage gave Poste the victory he needed for a second shot at Carroll in the hot seat. Carroll completed his undefeated run with a 7-5 victory in the finals and his third win on the tour.

 

Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Mickey Milligan’s, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, AZ Billiards and Professor Q-Ball. The next stop on the tour, scheduled for this weekend (August 18-19), will be hosted by the Gate City Billiards Club in Greensboro, NC.

 

Postscript – Eighteen years ago, BJ Ussery finished in the 32-player tie for 65th place at the 25th Annual US Open 9-Ball Championships. More remarkable than the feat itself is the evidence it provides of the caliber of player Ussery was keeping company with at the time. Sharing that tie for 65th place were (among others) Mike Davis, Shannon Daulton, Grady Matthews, Mike Zuglan, Allen Hopkins, Mika Immonen, and Steve Mizerak. It was also the year that Earl Strickland chalked up his fifth and what proved to be his last US Open 9-Ball title. In the years after that event, Ussery settled into a variety of Southern-based pool tours, regularly winning stops on the Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour, the Viking Tour, the Great Southern Billiard Tour, and The Jacoby Custom Cues Carolina Tour (to name just a few). Though he’s been away from the tables for a while now, he’s kept his hand in, so to speak. In 2014, he cashed in all three US Bar Box Championship events; 8-ball, 9-ball and 10-ball, and just last year, he finished fifth at the North Carolina State 10-Ball Open (held under the auspices of the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour), falling to long-time nemesis Mike Davis. Is BJ back? Inquiring minds would like to know.