Inaugural Southwest Amateur Tournament a Winner
Southwest Amateur Tournament / Harker Heights, TX
by InsidePOOL Staff
A new format was introduced at the inaugural Southwest Amateur Tournament (SWAT) at the E-Center in Harker Heights, TX, Feb 8-10. The converted grocery store, which now normally hosts rock concerts, was the perfect venue to host a triple-elimination billiards event. Most everyone, especially those who battled through that newly introduced third bracket, appreciated the opportunity of the extra round of play.
As is the goal of all BCA Pool League sanctioned events, the playing conditions were second to none. Consistency counts, so the Simonis 860 tournament blue cloth, the Diamond 7-foot Smart Tables with tight, pro-cut 4-1/2-inch pockets, and red circle cue balls with Super Aramith Pro balls were much appreciated by all who competed.
The men’s singles solicited 66 entrants, the women’s singles garnered 22, and the Scotch doubles, though double elimination, drew 20 couples.
In the men’s singles event, Chris White remained undefeated, while Billy Sharp bested Jeff Sorrell in the one-loss bracket. This forced a rematch, which resulted in Sharp going against White for the title. Sharp couldn’t overpower the confident White and finished second. Jeff Sorrell of the Dallas Southwest 8-Ball League placed third. Larry Nicholson, also from SWEL, celebrated fourth.
Rebecca Goodnight, from the Houston 8-Ball League, got through the winners’ bracket without a blemish. Melinda Bailey, a Southwest 8-Ball League member, rallied thru the one-loss bracket. In the women’s second-loss bracket, Michelle Yim defeated Austin APPLE league’s Kim Pierce, who garnered fourth place.
The win took Yim to the semifinals, where Melinda Bailey got the better of Yim and earned the right to a shot at Goodnight. Thanks to the triple-elimination format, Bailey had to best Goodnight three times for the championship, while Goodnight needed only two wins. Undeterred, Bailey snatched the next three matches and the first SWAT tournament title of the year.
Scotch doubles winners Chris White and Michelle Yim hailed from Houston 8-Ball League. Their competitors in the finals, Don Baker and Snowy Belt, play out of SWEL in Dallas.