Kelly Fisher Earns New West Coast Billiards Title
WPBA Pacific Coast Classic / Lincoln City, OR
After a stunning, hotly contested final match, Kelly Fisher has emerged the champion of the WPBA Pacific Coast Classic. This four-day event was hosted by the Chinook Winds Casino & Resort in Lincoln City, OR, and boasted a full 64-player field.
In the first semifinal match, shorted to 7 for ESPN taping purposes, Monica Webb and Vivian Villareal faced off. It’s been ten years since the veteran Villareal has captured a title, and Webb has never taken first on the tour. Though Villareal broke in the first game, Webb ended up taking first blood after her opponent missed the 3 ball. A safety battle gave the advantage back to Villareal, who tied it up at 1-all despite a cell phone going off when she was getting down to shoot the 9.
Surprisingly, the first phone alarm was not enough to deter it from happening again, as Villareal was shooting the 6 ball in the third rack and was interrupted. Though disturbed, she continued on to clear the table and then took the next rack to go up 3-1. A scratch on the 2 ball by Villareal led to Webb drawing within a game after the following rack. However, a scratch on the break by Webb in the next gave Villareal back the two-rack advantage. Villareal then missed position on a safety on the 7 ball, putting Webb back in action to make it 4-3 Villareal. Though she won game 8, while trying for a break-out shot on the 5 and 8, Webb missed the 4 ball in the next rack, and Villareal cleared. She then reached the hill after a failed safety attempt by Webb, making it 6-4. An empty break by Villareal gave the table to Webb in the final rack, but she missed position on the 2 ball, and Villareal gained another inning. She ran out, showing off her shot-making skills, to win 7-4 and advance to the finals.
The second semifinal turned out to be a hill-hill nail-biter. Kelly Fisher scratched on the break in the first rack, and Karen Corr ran out to take the first game. Fisher countered in the next by winning the safety battle on the 1 ball. Several errors by Corr allowed Fisher to take the lead 4-2. Fisher broke and ran out the next rack to make it 5-2, and then Fisher reached the hill after a failed safety attempt on the 1 ball by Corr left her an out. Fisher came up empty on her next break, and Corr cleared to make it 6-3. Corr also notched the next rack: She pocketed a ball on her break but missed the 1 ball. Unable to see it, Fisher was forced to kick and left Corr a long shot, which she missed. However, Fisher scratched on the 2 ball, giving Corr ball in hand and another game.
Another safety battle ensued in the following rack, with Corr maneuvering Fisher into a position where she fouled, again ending with Corr receiving ball in hand and a free rein, which she used to draw within a rack at 6-5 Fisher. Fisher got to the table when Corr came up dry on her next break, but Fisher, after fluking in the 6 ball, missed a defensive play on the 2 and left Corr a shot. Corr played out the dicey rack and made it a hill-hill encounter. Fisher made a ball on her final break and was faced with a long-rail bank on the 1, which she pocketed with aplomb. She picked through the rest of the balls to win the match 7-6 and advance to meet Villareal in the finals.
The final match was as closely contended as they come. It was touch and go from the start. Fisher ran out the first rack after a kick by Villareal on the 3 ball, but she missed a 5-9 combo in the next, and “The Tornado” tied it up. An easy 2 ball was missed by Villareal, and Fisher dished up, but then Villareal countered with a break and run-out. Not to be outdone, Fisher did the same, making the score 3-2 in her favor. A miss on the 4 ball in the next led to Villareal evening the score, and then she took the lead to make it 4-3.
Fisher capitalized on a missed 3 ball to make it an even match, but a determined Villareal took charge when Fisher came up dry on her next break, making it 5-4 in her favor. But Fisher had other ideas. Villareal took a swing at a 5-9 combo but missed, leaving an open table for Fisher in the following rack, and then Fisher reached the hill after each player exchanged innings on the 5 ball. Charged up for the win, Villareal ran out the final rack but missed the 9 ball. After studying it carefully, Fisher coolly banked it into the side for the 7-5 victory.
1st Kelly Fisher
2nd Vivian Villareal
3rd Monica Webb
5th Xiaoting Pan
Yu Ram Cha
9th Jeanette Lee
Ga Young Kim