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Lumston goes undefeated on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour to win his first event

Matt Lumston

To the best of our knowledge, Matt Lumston’s undefeated victory on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour this past weekend (Aug. 27-28) was his first tour victory anywhere. It will, as he enters the AZBilliards database, be the last time that will be said of his ongoing career at the tables. Runner-up Josh Miller entered the database for the first time two and half years ago, when he finished 9th at Q City 9-Ball stop in Spartansburg, SC and later that year (July), finished 4th at a tour stop in Bristol, TN at Janet Atwell’s Borderline Billiards. Borderline Billiards hosted this most recent, $250-added stop, which drew 27 entrants.

This was not some one-off ‘luck of the day kind of thing,’ where an unknown works his way through a mediocre field or, by bracket draw, manages to bypass competition against much stronger opponents. Lumston and Miller both had to contend with Cory Morphew, who’s in the middle of his best earnings year to date, in a career that dates back (as far as we know) to 2011. He finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd on the Q City 9-Ball Tour, this year alone. Lumston took him down 7-3 in the first round and Miller fought him to double hill before leaving him in the 3rd place dust. Lumston also defeated one of the country’s top-ranked junior competitors, Landon Hollingsworth (#2 in the 2022 season rankings of the Junior International Championships’ 18U and ProAm divisions). Were it not for Cory Morphew’s work in the event quarterfinals, Miller would have had to face him in the semifinals.

Lumston met up with Hollingsworth in one of this event’s winners’ side semifinals, while Miller squared off against Reid Vance (yet another Q City 9-Ball veteran with a win on this tour in 2020). Lumston sent Hollingsworth to the loss side 7-5 and was joined in the hot seat match Miller, who’d battled to double hill before sending Vance over to the loss-side 5th/6th matches. Lumston took command and claimed his first hot seat 7-2 over Miller.

In a pair of loss-side, tour-veteran battles, Hollingsworth drew room owner, Janet Atwell, while Vance picked up Morphew. Atwell had recently eliminated Donnie Lester 7-1 and Scott Howard 7-4 to reach Hollingsworth. Morphew, working on a seven-match, loss side winning streak, had chalked up wins #4 and #5 against Ricky Bingham 9-4 and James Brown 9-3.

Morphew and Hollingsworth advanced to the first money round, the quarterfinals; Morphew 9-4 over Vance and Hollingsworth 9-1 over Atwell. Morphew and Hollingsworth battled to double hill in those quarterfinals before Morphew finished his seventh and what proved to be his last match win of the day (as the Saturday was becoming an early Sunday).

A second double-hill battle was waged for a ticket to the finals. Josh Miller began the semifinals with four ‘beads on the wire’ in a race to 9. He chalked up the five he needed before Morphew was able to record the nine he needed and advanced for a second shot against Lumston, waiting for him in the hot seat.

The final match was threatening to beat dawn on Sunday morning. Lumston, though, got out in front and claimed his first event title, 7-3 over Miller and beat dawn to the finish line at around 4 a.m.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked Janet Atwell and her Borderline Billiards staff 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 bring a $500-added event to Breaktime Billiards in Winston-Salem, NC on this Labor Day weekend (Sept. 3-4).

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