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Heeter downs Fowler, double hill, in finals of Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop

Josh Heeter

Just over two weeks ago (March 19-20), Billy Fowler and Josh Heeter faced off in the finals of the first-ever West Virginia State 9-Ball Championships, held under the auspices of the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. Fowler won it 9-5 to chalk up his 8th recorded win on the tour, dating back to 2016. They’d met twice in the event; once in a winners’ side semifinal, won by Heeter and again, in the final, won by Fowler.

This past weekend (April 9-10), they met in an event final on the tour again. They met only once this time, though Fowler returned from the same relative position on the loss side as he had in West Virginia to challenge him. They reversed finish positions, with Heeter going undefeated this time to claim the title. The $500-added event drew 63 entrants to The Rock House in Gastonia, NC.

As had happened in West Virginia, they both emerged victorious from their respective winners’ side quarterfinal matches, but not to face each other in the winners’ side semifinals. Heeter squared off against Barry Mashburn, while Fowler faced Kelly Piercy. 

Piercy sent Fowler to the loss side 6-5 (Fowler racing to 10) and in the hot seat match, faced Heeter, who’d defeated Mashburn 9-3. Once again, Heeter claimed the hot seat, this time sending Piercy to the loss side 9-4.

On the loss side, Fowler picked up junior competitor Cole Lewis, who’d recently eliminated Michael Carter and Dayne Miller, both 8-3. Mashburn drew Zach Martin, who’d defeated Jesse Draper, double hill, and Thomas Sansone 5-3 to reach him. 

Martin downed Mashburn 5-4 (Mashburn racing to 9) and in the quarterfinals, was to face Fowler, who’d fought a double hill battle against Lewis, before prevailing 10-7. Fowler jumped over the quarterfinals when Martin couldn’t return on Sunday and forfeited the match.

Fowler took care of the last obstacle in his path to a second straight final against Heeter, Kelly Piercy 10-4 in the semifinals. Unlike the open (no handicap) event in West Virginia, in which Fowler, coming from the loss side, won just a single, extended, race-to-9 final match, he’d have to win twice to claim the handicapped event title in North Carolina. Heeter began with a single ‘bead on the wire’ in a race to 10. They battled to double hill, before Heeter prevailed 9-9 to claim the title.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at The Rock House, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, BarPoolTables.net, Break Time Billiards of Winston-Salem, NC, 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 16-17), will be hosted by Breaktime Billiards in Winston-Salem, NC. 

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Davis loses first set of finals, splits with Johnson on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Clay Davis

Over the years, we’ve reported on any number of individuals who’ve won their first event on any given or multiple numbers of regional tours. We’ve also reported on competitors who’ve returned from long absences away from the tables and chalked up their first win since however long it may have been, most notably in these last two years. According to Herman Parker, tour director of the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, Clay Davis’ official* (did not complete finals) win on last weekend’s (Feb. 26-27) tour stop marked his first win in almost eight years, predating the tour’s reporting to us about their events. He’d been competing all along, with his cash payouts on the tour being reported to us as far back as 2016. Ten of them altogether, but no tour wins.

“He’s the player who’s gone the longest time between wins on our tour,” said Parker.

Davis and Paul Johnson met only that once, in the first set of the tournament’s true double elimination finals. The $500-added event drew a hefty 62 entrants to Rock House Billiards in Gastonia, NC.

They were both a part of the two winners’ side semifinals. As Davis was battling Trent Talbert to double hill before prevailing, Johnson was being outdone by Rory Dover 6-3. Davis claimed the hot seat over Dover in a shutout.

On the loss side, Johnson picked up Runal Bhatt, who’d defeated Zach Martin 7-2 and Matt Lucas 7-4 to reach him. Talbert drew Cole Lewis, who’d recently eliminated Hunter White 8-5 (White racing to 10) and Andrew “Tiger” Carlisle 8-3.

Johnson downed Bhatt 6-5 (Bhatt racing to 7), as Lewis was busy shutting out Talbert. Johnson eliminated Lewis 6-4 in the quarterfinals that followed. 

The semifinal between Dover and Johnson was a straight-up, race-to-6 rematch of their winners’ side semifinal. This time, they battled to double hill, before Johnson finished it, in what was probably an unwitting attempt to face and prevent Davis from chalking up that first tour win in eight years.

Johnson continued that attempt in the opening set of the true double elimination final. With one ‘bead on the wire’ in a race to 7, Johnson won that first set 6-2, at which point, the two of them negotiated a split. As the occupant of the hot seat at the time, Davis claimed the official event title, chalking up that first (albeit, with an asterisk) title in eight years. 

Tour director Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Rock House Grill and Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, BarPoolTables.net, Break Time Billiards of Winston-Salem, NC, 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 (March 5-6), will be a $500-added event, hosted by The Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA. 

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Ronny Park Benefit Memorial – Tommy Kennedy vs Zach Martin