First-Place Split for Ranola and Ford
Predator 9-Ball Women’s Open / Parsippany, NJ
by InsidePOOL Staff
Comet Billiards in Parsippany, NJ, hosted the Predator 9-Ball Tour’s Women’s Open event, sponsored by Jim Murnak Cue Cases, the weekend of July 19-20. The event brought in WPBA pros Liz Ford, Megan Minerich, and Caroline Pao. Iris Ranola, who has been cleaning up the regional events, attended, along with recent Tri-State Invitational runner up Gail Glazebrook and the always-deadly Emily Duddy.
The draw brought about a difficult first-round match for Ranola and Minerich. After moving here in February from the Philippines, Ranola is a recent powerhouse edition to the Northeast women’s events, winning many of the region’s qualifiers this year. The ladies traded racks until a costly 8 ball miss proved deadly for Minerich and allowed Ranola to pull ahead and close the match 7-5, sending Minerich to the one-loss side much earlier than expected.
Ford was playing strong pool this weekend. After a 7-0 win over Glazebrook, she continued her dominance on the winners’ side until she met with Pao in the quarterfinals. Pao started the day with a nail-biter in the first round as Olga Gashkova fought tooth and nail against the WPBA pro, but a 6 ball miss allowed Pao to squeeze out the win 7-6. After that Pao blazed through the winners’ side to meet up with Ford. At hill-hill it was still a coin toss as to who was going to take the match. Pao proved victorious as she clenched the win 7-6.
Duddy initially lost to Ford earlier in the day and was clearing the one-loss bracket. A close call with up-and-coming player Borana Andoni 7-5 seemed to give Duddy the steam she needed to beat the dangerous Asia 7-5. This set up another chance at Ford. Unfortunately for Duddy, the second time was no different as Ford continued to show her experience and talent leaving Duddy to settle for fourth place.
As the winners’ bracket came to the hot-seat match, Pao struggled to maintain her momentum and fell 7-3 to Ranola, setting up a rematch between Ford and Pao. The loss to Ranola may have carried into Pao’s rematch with Ford. Both ladies were visibly tired, but Ford was relentless and trudged through the match, not allowing Pao much room for error. As Pao struggled, Ford dominated and clenched the match 7-1.
The day was long and draining, and so in the late hours of the event, both Ranola and Ford decided to crown the other as champion of the event, so the first Predator 9-Ball Tour’s Women’s Open event crowned Ranola and Ford co-champions of the tournament.
1st Iris Ranola
3rd Caroline Pao
4th Emily Duddy
5th Olga Gashkova
7th Megan Minerich