Viking Tour Debuts in Texas

Viking Cue 9-Ball Tour / Richardson, TX
by Rick Davis
The Viking Cue 9-Ball Tour made its first appearance in Texas April 28-29 when it brought three divisions of play to The Billiard Den in Richardson, TX. Fighting their way through the fields, Gordy Van Ver Veer, Lance Sullivan, and Blaine Barcus claimed the open, amateur, and junior divisions, respectively, through an onslaught of very close matches.
In the open division a 40-player field came forward, although it was Van Ver Veer and Robert Clark who bested the winners’ side to reach the hot seat match. Van Ver Veer outplayed Clark, besting him 9-7 to send him back into the mix on the one-loss side. Action on the west side was starting to wind down as Jason Pierce eliminated T.J. Davis and Sammy Downs, 7-4 and 7-6, to reach the quarterfinals. Nearby, Jack Lynch plowed through Clay Renfroe and William Howard, each 7-2, then slipped past Pearce 7-5 to reach the semifinals. With only two matches left Clark knocked out Lynch double-hill and attempted to redeem himself against Van Ver Veer. Clark took the first set 9-8, but after getting the attention of his opponent, Van Ver Veer drilled him 7-0 to claim the event.
The second division offered play for the amateurs, where another group of 40 players threw their hat into the ring. Lance Sullivan and Jim Colling were clearly in control, and after they met in the hot seat match, Sullivan stepped forward by virtue of a 7-5 win to be king of the hill. On the one-loss side Bill Etcheverry ousted Claude Gragg 7-3, while Henry Rocha did the same to Chris Ferguson 7-4. In the quarterfinals it was Colling over Etcheverry double-hill, then Rocha over Etcheverry 7-2. The finals offered some excitement as Rocha took the first set from Sullivan double-hill and then managed to tied the final set at 6-all with a 9 on the break. Sullivan took his last chance and shocked everyone by answering back with a 9 on the snap to claim the set, match, and event.
Finally, 14 players entered the juniors division, which was owned by Blaine Barcus and Mikey Gipe, who clashed in the hot seat match before Barcus shifted into gear, besting Gipe 9-6. On the one-loss side Stephan Brown emerged from the quarterfinals 7-2 over Jason Creel but was then eliminated 7-5 by the incoming Gipe. Back in the finals Gipe tasted revenge as he took the first set 9-4, but again the king of the hill answered back to take the final set 7-4 and claim the event. While the junior division did not receive a cash payout, the top two finishers, Barcus and Gipe, each received an entry in the BEF Nationals, along with a very nice Viking cue.
Open Results:
1st Gordy Van Ver Veen
2nd Robert Clark
3rd Jack Lynch
4th Jason Pearce
5th William Howard
Sammy Downs
7th Clay Renfroe
T.J. Davis
Amateur Results:
1st Lance Sullivan
2nd Henry Rocha
3rd Jim Colling
4th Bill Etcheverry
5th Claude Gragg
Chris Ferguson
Junior Results:
1st Blaine Barcus
2nd Mikey Gipe
3rd Stephan Brown
4th Jason Creel
5th Camron Radford
William Howard