WPBA U.S. Open / Norman, OK
Ga Young Kim earned her first win in two years on the Women’s Professional Billiard Tour (WBPA) when she emerged victorious over Karen Corr in the finals of the U.S. Open. The event was held this past week at the Riverwind Casino in Norman, IL, and began with a 64-player field.
Setting up the finals was the first semifinal match between Allison Fisher and Karen Corr. These long-time rivals started off evenly matched, with the score knotted at 1-all and 2-all. When Fisher missed the 7 ball after getting out of line, Corr took the lead for the first time in the match and then broke and ran the next to make it 4-2 in her favor. Though Fisher broke in the next and had an open table, she missed the 5 ball, but Corr hooked herself for the 6 ball and gave the rack to Fisher. Corr regained her focus in the following game, breaking and running to once again hold a two-rack lead. A missed 1 ball by Fisher put Corr on the hill 6-3, but the last game was a scrapper as the players engaged in major defensive play. Corr managed to pocket the 2 ball, though, and then plucked off the remaining balls to advance to the finals 7-3.
The second semifinals featured another strong match-up, this time between Ga Young Kim and Gerda Hofstatter. It did not start out auspiciously for Kim, though, when her cue ball flew off the table on her first break and Hofstatter cleared to win the first game. But Kim was able to focus better after that, and her trademark aggressive style kicked in as she won the next three racks in a row. Kim fouled on a jump shot attempt on the 8 ball in the following game, and Hofstatter took that to draw within one, and then a carom into the 9 brought the score to even at 3-all. A couple of tactical errors by the Austria gave Kim a two-rack lead again, and then a long 2-9 combo put Kim on the hill 6-3. A defensive battle over the 2 ball left Hofstatter in charge of the table, and though she missed the 6 ball, Kim then missed a kick shot, and Hofstatter won that rack. But it was not enough, for Kim broke and ran out the final rack of that match to win 7-4.
Kim went on to the finals against Corr, and though they traded the first two games, Kim pulled away to a two-rack lead after a break and run and then a dry break by Corr. She broke and ran out again despite a dicey shot on the 9 ball, but with a missed 2 ball in the next rack, she allowed “The Irish Invader” back into the match, and Corr grabbed her chance by clearing the table to make it 4-2 Kim. Though they split the next two racks, Corr took advantage of poor position on the part of Kim to even the score at 5 apiece. Kim had to push out on her next break, and Corr again pressed her advantage and began running out, but an ugly miscue on the 5 ball handed that game to Kim. Corr then broke and made a ball but had to play safe on the 1 ball. Kim made the tough long shot but had to two-rail kick at the 2 ball, which she clipped, hooking Corr behind the 6. After getting out her jump cue, Corr sent the cue ball into the 2 but left it by the side pocket. Kim pocketed the ball and went two rails for position on the 4. With that accomplished, Kim successfully cleared the remaining balls to win 7-5, collecting her first WPBA title in two years.
1st Ga Young Kim
2nd Karen Corr
3rd Allison Fisher
5th Xiaoting Pan
9th Line Kjorsvik
17th Iris Ranola
Yu Ram Cha