Webb Takes First WPBA Title

Webb Takes First WPBA Title
WPBA Tour Championships / Hollywood, FL

by InsidePOOL Staff

Webb scored her first title on the Women’s Professional Billiard Association tour.

Webb scored her first title on the Women's Professional Billiard Association tour.

Monica Webb secured her first Women’s Professional Billiard Association (WPBA) championship title, winning their Tour Championships over top-ranked Kelly Fisher. The event was held November 13-16 at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, FL.

Webb’s undefeated tournament journey started with a 9-4 victory over Val Finnie. She then sent Ewa Laurance to the left side of the chart with a compelling 9-4 win, and Jeanette Lee was her next victim, falling in a tightly contested 9-7 match. In the final 16, she met young gun Anna Kostanian, and the two fought to hill-hill before Webb advanced to the quarterfinals.

Her opponent, the number-two ranked Karen Corr, took the first game of the match, but after that Webb took the next three for a 3-1 lead. They traded the next two games after a failed safety attempt by both, and then some back-and-forth play led to Webb going up 5-2 in the shortened race to 7. Corr got a shot on the 4 ball that was intended to be left safe by Webb, and she ran out to get back within two games. Webb left Corr an open shot on the 1 ball in the next, and Corr cleared the table, but Webb then reached the hill when Corr fouled on the 1 ball. After trading innings, Webb forced a foul from Corr on the 3 ball, and Webb took ball in hand to win the match 7-4.

Vivian Villareal and Xiaoting Pan played in another quarterfinal match that was neck and neck until the score reached 3 apiece. However, two critical errors by Pan put Villareal at 5-3 up, and then a failed safety attempt by Pan on the 5 ball gave Villareal the hill. Pan only took one more rack before Villareal, with a stunning one-rail massé kick shot on the 3 ball that ultimately led to her pocketing the 6-9 combo for the win.

Sarah Rousey, who defeated Allison Fisher again for the second time this year, reached the quarterfinals to match up with Gerda “G-Force” Hofstatter. Still high on her success, she took a commanding three-rack lead against the Austrian. Rousey missed a kick shot on the 3 ball in the next rack, and Hofstatter drew a bit closer, but Rousey rallied after trading safeties on the 2 ball and cleared to go up 5-2. Hofstatter’s bad luck continued as she hooked herself on the 5 and fouled, giving Rousey ball in hand and the hill. Hofstatter took the next rack when Rousey left her a peek at the 4 ball. It looked as though Hofstatter would win the following game, too, after Rousey clipped the 9 ball en route to the 2, but Hofstatter scratched on the 3 ball, and Rousey ran out to win 7-3.

In a brutal quarterfinal match that saw Kelly Fisher advance to the semifinals, Helena Thornfeldt never seemed to get composed throughout. A series of errors and rattled balls gave Fisher such an advantage, she was able to win the match in a wipeout 7-0.

Though it’s been 10 years since Villareal has won a title, her opponent in the semifinals, Webb, had never won one, and she was on a mission. However, Villareal is sponsored by the Seminole Tribe of Florida and was playing in their casino. It turned out to be a tight match. Though Webb took a three-rack lead from the get-go, Villareal got on the board when Webb, playing from a snooker behind the 7 and 8 balls, left Villareal an open table. Webb recovered to take advantage of a poor safety and go up 5-1. But if Webb was hoping for an easy victory at that point with two racks to go, she had another thing coming. Villareal fought back to come within a game to make it 5-4, but they traded the next two racks, with Webb reaching the hill. Villareal had the break advantage but missed a two-way shot on the 4-9. With an open table, Webb was able to dish up to make it to the finals 7-5.

“Kwik Fire” Fisher made short work of her semifinal opponent, Rousey, taking a 6-0 lead. A combination of bad luck and a couple of mistakes went against Rousey, and though the crowd was behind her, she was overpowered. In the seventh game Rousey broke, pocketed a ball, and cleared the table to get on the board 6-1. When Fisher rattled the 3 ball, it seemed as though Rousey might get another rack, but she didn’t have a clear shot. She kicked in the 3 but then was forced to play safe on the 4 ball and left it dead center. Fisher could see just enough to pocket it and then clear the rest of the table to win 7-1.

The final match between Fisher and Webb started off fairly evenly, with the first two racks being split. From there, though, Fisher took the next two games to go up 3-1. Unfazed, Webb broke and ran the next rack and then won a safety battle over the 1 ball to knot the score at 3 apiece. Webb missed a one-rail kick in the next, giving the lead back to Fisher, but she quickly tied it back up when Fisher scratched on the 8, leaving Webb only the 9 ball. A failed position shot on the 5 ball by Fisher put Webb in the lead for the first time in the match. When Fisher instigated a safety skirmish on the 1 ball in the following rack, it was she who ended up leaving Webb a shot and handing her the hill 6-4. Webb broke and played safe on the 2 ball; when Fisher kicked at it and left Webb a tricky shot, Webb opted to cross-bank it into the corner. She negotiated another difficult shot on the 3 to get excellent position on the 4, and from there, with four balls left, she painstakingly picked her way through to win her first WPBA title 7-4.

Results:
1st Monica Webb
2nd Kelly Fisher
3rd Sarah Rousey
Vivian Villareal
5th Helena Thornfeldt
Gerda Hofstatter
Xiaoting Pan
Karen Corr
9th Jeanette Lee
Anna Kostanian
Jennifer Chen
Ga Young Kim
Kim Shaw
Allison Fisher
Joanne Ashton
Melissa Herndon

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