For the second time in just over a month, a junior competitor has won a Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour Championship. Last month (December 4-5), South Carolina’s Landon Hollingsworth became the first player in the nine-year history of the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour Championships (9 ft. tables) to win that event twice in a row. Last weekend (Jan 8-9), North Carolina’s Joey Tate went undefeated to claim the 9 of the toure Annual Bar Box Tour Championships. Hollingsworth and Tate were winners and runner-up at the Junior International Championships’ (JIC’s) 18 & Under Boys final held last October in conjunction with the International Open in Norfolk, VA. The $1,000 added Bar Box event attracted 94 participants to Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC.
Tate faced another junior entrant in the final of the event. Although Cole Lewis was not active in the JIC’s annual series of events in 2021, he was among the top five finishers in eight Q City 9-Ball events and won two last year, including the final tour stop in 2021 just before Christmas at the clubhouse in Lynchburg, Virginia. He and Tate took to the field to reach the winners semifinals against Jason Blackwell (for Lewis) and Haskell Brown (for Tate).
Blackwell sent Lewis 6-2 to the losing side and advanced to the hot seat match. Tate joined him after beating Brown 8-2. Tate and Blackwell battled to double the mound before Tate was victorious to claim the hot seat.
On the losing side, Lewis began his journey back to the final against multi-tour winner Billy Fowler, who recently defeated two Justins, Knuckles 10-3 and Duncan 10-1, to reach him. Justin Knuckles had started his match against Duncan and had just beaten Joey Tate’s father, Randy Tate, 6-0. Brown drew Steven Ellis, who had lost his opening game and embarked on an eight-game winning streak that was about to end. He recently knocked out Michael Rabon 7-1 and BJ Hucks 7-5.
Brown stopped Ellis’ loss 7-5. He was joined in the quarterfinals by Lewis, who dropped Fowler 8-5. Lewis then defeated Brown in those quarterfinals and earned a rematch against Blackwell in the semifinals.
Lewis had a markedly different second shot against Blackwell, who had sent him 6-2 to a loss in the semi-final of their winner’s game. In the semi-finals of the event, Lewis got a shot at Tate in the hot seat with an 8-5 win over Blackwell.
Tate, however, was undeniable. He finished his championship run with a single set, 8-4 win over Lewis, giving him his third overall win on the tour since 2018.
Tour director Herman Parker thanked the property and staff of Break & Run Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, BarPoolTables.net, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat, AZBilliards.com and Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Department. The next stop on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend, January 15-16, is a Scotch Double event for the disabled hosted by Corner Pockets in Fayetteville, NC.