Kirk defeats NWPA Tour Champ Suzanne Smith in final tour stop
Skip Maloney - AzB Staff
Oct. 29, 2015
Suzanne Smith, looking to punctuate her standing as the 2015 Northwest Women's Pool Association champion on the tour's final event of the season, made it all the way to the hot seat, before running into Kimberly Kirk in the finals. Kirk, playing in only her second event of the year, and looking for only her second win on the tour since 2002, won three matches on the loss side for the right to meet Smith, and then downed her in the finals. The $500-added event, streamed by Rail2Rail productions, drew 23 entrants to The Parlor in Bellevue, WA.
 
After giving up a total of only seven racks, over three matches (to Kim Toops, Kirsten Ferry, and Fran Johnson, Kirk was sent to the loss side in a double hill match, won by Patricia Tipton in a winners' side semifinal. Smith, in the meantime, defeated Liz Cole 7-3 in the other winners' side semifinal. Smith claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Tipton, and waited on the return of Kirk, or K2, as she was called throughout the Rail2Rail stream.
 
On the loss side, Kirk picked up Michelle Hughes, who'd won four matches on the loss side to reach her, including a double hill win over Jessica Aarhaus, and 6-3 victory over Mary Coffman. Cole drew Carissa Biggs, who'd defeated Cassie Francois 6-3 and survived a double hill fight versus Fran Johnson. Kirk downEd Hughes 6-3, as Cole was busy shutting out Biggs. 
 
The closest that Kirk had come to victory on the tour since 2002 was a runner-up finish to Cole in 2011. She got her three-year-delayed vengeance against Cole in the quarterfinals, defeating her 6-3 and moving on for a re-match versus Tipton. She took care of that, too, defeating Tipton 6-3, for a shot at Smith.
 
Kirk stayed steady in the finals, while Smith showed some vulnerability. Kirk took full advantage, getting out in front, eventually by five, to win 9-4 and claim the event title.