Ranked number two by the Women’s Professional Billiard Association (WPBA), Karen Corr has been in the U.S. for less than ten years but has made an indelible impact on the sport in that short time.
Karen was born Nov. 10th, 1969 in Ballymoney, N. Ireland and lived near Maghera Co. Derry. At the age of 8, her parents moved to England where she eventually joined a club and began her career in snooker at the age of 14.
Karen was 15 when she entered her first woman’s event in Leicester, England. On the day after her 21st birthday, in 1990, she won her first World Snooker Championship. What a birthday present! Karen continued on to win additional World titles in ’91, ’95, and ’97.
The Ladies Snooker prize funds were never large enough for Karen to support herself financially. She was forced to work various jobs, including bartending, to enable herself to continue to play professionally. In 1997, she was invited to play in an exhibition tour throughout Australia and New Zealand with her friend, and fellow pro, Julie Kelly. While on that tour, Julie told her about this great tour happening in the U.S., and that she was going to play. Karen then decided to go also, but only during the snooker off-season.
In June of 1998, Karen moved to the U.S. and began playing pool. She was curious to see how she would do at pool. After winning 10 qualifying events in a row, she was able to enter WPBA pro events.
She won four world championship titles in six years and then decided to try her skills at 9-ball in the States. She moved to Pennsylvania in June 1998, won ten qualifying events, and then was able to play in the WPBA’s tournaments.
By the end of 1999, “The Irish Invader” was ranked 24. She climbed up to number four in the next year, and by the end of 2000, she was second.
Karen won her first WPBA Classic Tour title, The 2000 Cuetec Cues Players Championship in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. She completed that year with two more Classic tour titles. She also won the All Japan Open Championship held in Osaka, Japan. She placed second in the WPA Women’s World Championship and in the UCC World Ladies Championship held in Tokyo, Japan.
Karen became the first person to win all 6 Classic tour events since they began. She won the silver medal at the World Games and placed 2nd at the World Championships. Before 2001 ended, Karen found herself at the top, the ..1 ranked player in the world and remained there for 2 years.
In 2001, Corr won every single Classic Tour event (a total of six), a task that had never been accomplished before or repeated afterward. This put her in the number-one slot on the tour, and she remained there for two years.
Corr pulled off another amazing feat in 2003—she became the only woman to win an event on the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour. This tour frequently attracts some of the toughest and most seasoned players around.
So far in 2007, Corr has won the EnjoyPool.com 9-Ball Championship, which she has won a record four times, as well as the New Jersey State Championship. For more information, visit Corr’s website at karencorr.net.
While in America, Karen and Julie lived with Julie’s sisters in New Jersey, and then in Boston for a time, before finally settling in northeast Philadelphia.
Karen is dedicated to the sport. On most days you’ll find her at Pete Fusco’s Family Recreation Center in Feasterville, PA. Here she works with her coach, World’s All-round Champion , Pete Fusco, learning more and more about the game.
Karen Corr interview with Inside POOL Magazine.