Billy Jr Ussery claimed a landmark first-ever World Nineball Tour win in the inaugural Bob Stock Memorial tournament in Virginia, USA to climb into fifth in the Race to Mosconi Cup standings beating rising USA star Lukas Fracasso-Verner 13-11 in the final.
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Ussery came up a stacked field that included plenty of Mosconi Cup pedigree such as Billy Thorpe, Tyler Styer, and Oscar Dominguez with the likes of Fedor Gorst also traveling to Sterling in the hope of snapping off the title and making huge inroads on the World Nineball Tour rankings.
The 64-player field also saw plenty of names hoping to book a maiden Mosconi Cup Team USA spot come December 6-9 with Fracasso-Verner joined by Joey Tate who infamously came so close to beating Shane Van Boening at last year’s US Open; Shane Wolford who narrowly missed out last year and Josh Roberts who has been on the periphery of a selection for many years but it was Ussery who pulled away to down the field.
It was an intense two days of play with the double eliminations stage going to the Last 16 before single elimination took hold. Ussery overcame Fracasso-Verner in the opening match which pushed the youngster to the losers’ side before handing 2020 Mosconi Cup winner Gorst the same path with a win over Uruguay’s Santiago H. Silvera in the middle. Later in the tournament, BJ overcame Hunter Lombardo, Thomas Haas, and Wolford in an 11-10 dust-up in the semi-finals to reach the final.
Fracasso-Verner meanwhile did it the hard way after defeat to Ussery beating Christopher Pyle, Precilia Kinsley, Jeremy Seaman, and Henry Cha to even reach the Last 16. Greg Hogue took home a World Nineball Tour ranking event last year and held hopes of another to start his Mosconi Cup hopes this year but, on this occasion, Fracasso-Verner was on a one-man mission. Canada’s Martin Daigle was next up before Gorst faced the wrath of the young American to face off with Ussery in the final.
Elsewhere, Dominguez’s race was run in the Last 16 by Donny Mills after an intense week for the former who had traveled to the other World Nineball Tour ranking event last week in Spain, the PRP Nineball Open. Thorpe’s mission to return to the Mosconi Cup continued at a pace with a Last 16 finish which was also the stage where Roberts exited. Styer meanwhile suffered in the quarterfinals to Wolford whilst both Tate and Jeremy Sossei exited on the losers side.
Margaret Fefilova-Styer claimed some scalps during her weekend that saw a late opportunity arise to join the field including a win over one-time Mosconi Cup player Brandon Shuff.
Next World Nineball Tour Ranking Event
The World Nineball Tour continues at the weekend in Slovenia for the Ljubljana City Mezz 9-Ball Open. See more information here. The next USA ranking will take place at Dominguez’s Hard Times Billiards of Sacramento in California with The Chuck Markulis Memorial from June 8-11. Entry info is here.