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Dill gives up first set of finals, wins second set to claim first Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball title

New venue, new winner on the tour.

In the early hours of Sunday, August 14, Chad Dill, occupying the hot seat at the time, entered the second set of a double elimination final against 16-year-old Hunter Zayas on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. Dill fought Zayas in the second set, battling him to a double-hill, final game, which he won to claim his first Q City 9-Ball Tour title and enter the AZBilliards database of players for the first time. The $250-added event drew 28 entrants to the new venue, Action Billiards in Inman, SC.

Dill and Zayas were among the winners’ side final four, but did not face each other. Dill faced Jason Blackwell in one of the winners’ side semifinals, while Zayas met Dalton Messer in the other. Dill got into the hot seat match with a double hill win over Blackwell, and was joined by Messer, who’d sent Zayas over 6-3. Dill sent Messer off to the semifinals 5-3 and claimed the hot seat.

On the loss side, Zayas and Blackwell, got ‘right back onto their horses’ with victories. Zayas picked up Cameron Hollingsworth, who’d defeated Terry Cannon 5-3, and his older brother, Landon Hollingsworth 5-5 (Landon racing to 9) to reach him. Blackwell drew Marc Rochester, who’d recently eliminated Cory Edwards with a shutout and Katie Bischoff 6-2.

Zayas downed Cameron Hollingsworth 6-3. Blackwell joined him in the quarterfinals, after ending Rochester’s day 6-4. Zayas then took out both Blackwell in the quarterfinals and Messer in the semifinals 6-3.

Entering the finals, as Saturday turned into Sunday, Zayas was looking for his first recorded cash payout in 2022 and his first win on the tour since February, 2021. Hot seat occupant Dill was also looking for his first 2022 cash payout, his first ever, along with his first win on any tour, anywhere. Zayas had the ‘experience’ upper hand in the double elimination final and took the opening set 6-3. But Dill came back in the second set to knot the proceedings at double hill; 4-5 (Zayas racing to 6). Dill won the 10th and final game to claim his first title.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff of the tour’s newest venue, Action Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Breaktime Billiards (Winston-Salem, NC),, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat,, Ridge Back Rails, and Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division. The Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour will be off this week and be back at the tables on the weekend of August 27-28 at Janet Atwell’s room, Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN. 

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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,, 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.