Ussery bests well-traveled Davis on Jacoby Tour

Having been knocked out of competition at the Derby City Classic on Friday night, Mike Davis hopped into his car and drove seven hours to Lexington, NC. He slept for two hours, and got back into the car for another couple of hours, so that he could be on time for the start of the $1,000-added, Jacoby Custom Cue Carolina Tour stop, set to begin on Saturday, January 30, at On The Snap Billiards in Fuquay-Varina, NC. As it turned out, Davis was one of only two players (out of eight on hand) to cash in on the $1,400 total purse. He got into the hot seat match against B.J. Ussery and guaranteed himself a share of that purse with a  victory, but Ussery came back to take the single, race-to-11 final, and took home the $1,000, first place prize, leaving Davis with $400 for his nine-hour effort to get there.

Tournament director Doug Ennis returned all entry fees for this tournament to the eight players on hand, and the $1,000-added by the room; footing the bill out of his own pocket. It was, in essence, a no-risk tournament, with a one-in-four chance of making it into the money.

Ussery, Davis, Chris Turner and Ty Bissett won the event's opening round, sending (respectively) Arnold Hamlet, Charlene Harvey, Tony Morrison, and Mike Harvey (Charlene's husband) to the one-loss side's seventh and eighth place matchups. Turner got out in front of Davis 4-1, among the winners' side final four, but Davis took seven of the next eight to move into the hot seat match. Ussery joined him with an 8-2 victory over Bissett, but moved to the semifinals on the heels of an 8-4 win that left Davis in the hot seat.

Meanwhile, on the one-loss side, the Harvey family fell to Morrison and Hamlet by identical 8-3 scores; Morrison over Charlene and Hamlet over Mike. Morrison picked up Bissett, and Hamlet drew Turner. Morrison got into the quarterfinals with an 8-5 win over Bissett and was joined by Turner, who defeated Hamlet 8-6. Morrison dominated the quarterfinals 8-2,  but in the semifinals that followed, Ussery allowed him only a single rack more than he'd allowed Turner, and got his second chance against Davis.

With a $600 differential at stake in the prize package, Davis and Ussery locked horns in a tight, back and forth battle that saw both players establish and then give up two-rack leads. Ahead by two at 6-4, Ussery watched Davis win four straight to go ahead 8-6. Davis then watched Ussery win three to go ahead by one at 9-8. Davis came right back with two racks to reach the hill first, but he scratched on the subsequent break and watched Ussery run the rack to knot things at 10 apiece. Ussery came up dry on the deciding break and Davis ran to the 8-ball, where a ‘cut' miscalculation left Ussery with a makeable pair. He made them, and took home the first place prize.

David Sprum won a $500, ‘limited edition' custom Jacoby Cue in the event raffle.