Underwood and Powell split top prizes on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Jeff Underwood

Jeff Underwood is something of a newcomer to the AZB Money Leaderboard, having cashed in only two (recorded) events so far; one, this past January when he tied for 7th/8th on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour and on the same tour this past weekend (March 20-21), when, as the occupant of the hot seat, he became the official winner of the $500-added event that drew 38 entrants to Randolph’s Billiards in Hickory, NC. Underwood and Hank Powell (who’d won the January event in which Underwood had competed) played one set of a true double elimination final. Powell won it, giving them each a single loss, when they opted out of a final match and split the top two cash prizes.

Underwood and Powell had recently had their handicaps raised and seemed to prove that they’d earned that upgrade by both making it to the winners’ side semifinals. Underwood faced Bruce Campbell, as Powell squared off against Jonathan Ailstock. Underwood advanced to the hot seat match with a 6-3 victory over Campbell. Powell, though, moved to the loss side, courtesy of Ailstock, who, with Powell racing to 8, defeated him 6-6. Ailstock ended up on the wrong side of his second straight double hill match, as Underwood claimed the hot seat 6-5.

Powell began his three-match journey back to the finals against Chuck Ritchie, who’d defeated Gary South 7-3 and Scott Howard, double hill, to reach him. Campbell drew Andy Bowden, who’d recently eliminated Jeff Abernathy and Jason Rogers, both 5-6 (Abernathy racing to 9 and Rogers to 8). 

In the first money round and what proved to be Saturday night’s final matches, Bowden downed Campbell 5-1. He would be joined in the quarterfinals by Powell, who’d sent Ritchie home (late on Saturday night) 8-2.

On Sunday, the final four returned and commenced with the quarterfinals. Powell began the day the same way he’d ended Saturday, with an 8-2 win, this time, over Bowden. It set up a semifinal rematch between Powell and Ailstock, both looking for a second shot at the somewhat ‘new kid on the block,’ Underwood, waiting in the hot seat.

Powell prevailed 8-4 over Ailstock and launched into the opening set of the true double elimination final. He won that set by the same score as he’d defeated Ailstock 8-4, at which point, he and Underwood began negotiating their split of the top two prizes.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Randolph’s Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, BarPoolTables.net, AZBilliards, 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 this weekend, March 27-28, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC.