Great Southern Billiard Tour / Rocky Mount, NC
by Lea Andrews
North Carolina dominant force B.J. Ussery, who had somehow managed to avoid the finals of a Great Southern Billiard Tour event before the weekend of September 25-26, came back from a late loss to Steven Page to get to the finals and earn his first win on the tour. Ussery was the last man standing of the original field of 41 that gathered at Greentop Billiards in Rocky Mount, NC, for the $1,500-added event, which was sponsored by Nick Varner Cues and Cases and Andy Gilbert Custom Cues.
AA-ranked Ussery remained unscathed through the winners’ side final four, where he rode an 11-5 win over B-ranked Roy Musser to reach the hot seat match against recent winner Steven Page, who’d sent A-ranked Glenn Russell west 9-6. Page earned his spot in the finals 9-7, pushing Ussery over to the other side for the semifinal match.
On the left side of the bracket, AA-ranked Michael “Bulldawg” Fuller, who’d fallen to Russell 9-9, took care of B-ranked Ken Hendricks 11-2 and A-ranked Chris Vollmar 11-5 before suffering an unlikely 7-1 loss to Musser. Meanwhile, local favorite “Pokey,” one of Page’s earlier victims, ousted B-ranked Shane Ward 9-4 and A-ranked Cary Dunn 9-8 to face two-time runner-up Russell, whom he dropped into fifth 9-3 to meet up with Musser in the quarterfinals. A swift 9-1 victory over Musser left Pokey with just one match left between him and a rematch with Page, but unfortunately for Pokey, that match was against Ussery. The three games Pokey marked up were only enough to put him in third, while Ussery moved on to Page.
In the true double-elimination final match, Ussery pushed the second set 11-6, and by this time, it was well into the wee hours of Monday morning. Seasoned player Ussery took the late hour in stride, stretching out his lead in the second set to take his first tour win decisively 11-3.
1st B.J. Ussery $1,000
2nd Steven Page $500
3rd “Pokey” $300
4th Roy Musser $200
5th Glenn Russell $100
7th Cary Dunn $75