Menard double dips Williams to win NAPT Division II Championships
Skip Maloney - AzB Staff
Mar. 1, 2017
Veronique Menard and Susan Williams
Veronique Menard and Susan Williams
It was Canada versus the US in the finals of the North American Pool Tour's Division II Championships on the weekend of February 24-26. The US, in the person of Susan Williams, representing the Arizona Women's Billiard Tour, grabbed the hot seat, but Canada, represented by Veronique Menard, with the Circuit de Feminin du Quebec, came back to double dip Williams in the finals and claim the title. The $5,000-added event, hosted by Hard Times Billiards in Sacramento, CA drew 54 entrants, drawn from 10 Division II Regional Tours. The event was streamed live throughout the weekend by Rail2Rail Productions.
 
The 54 entrants were divided up into eight round robin 'flights,' each yielding four players who competed in a 32-player, double elimination bracket that assured each of them some portion of the $10,400 prize package. Winning their flights and advancing, along with their three closest point-earning competitors were Nicole Keeney, Tina Malm, Veronique Menard, Michelle Cortez, Meredith Lynch, Susan Williams, Jeannie Seaver, and Julia Gabriel.
 
Following victories over Katrina Lyman, Revelina Um, and Liz Lovely, Susan Williams advanced to a winners' side semifinal against Tina Malm. On her end of the bracket, Veronique Menard got by Laura Bendikas, Marion Poole, and Jeannie Seaver, to draw Maria Juana in the other winners' side semifinal.
 
Williams had been alternating between relatively easy matches (if anything at this level can be considered 'easy') and highly competitive matches, including a double hill fight against Lovely in the winners' side quarterfinals. By comparison, she got into the hot seat match with a 7-2 win over Malm.  Menard, on the other hand, saw Juana chalk up two more racks against her (5) than any other opponent to that point. In their first of three, Menard and Williams locked up in a double hill battle that eventually left Williams in the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Malm met up with Jeannie Seaver, the WPBA's most recent Regional Tour Champion from that January event in Tallahasse, FL. After her defeat at the hands of Menard in a winners' side quarterfinal, Seaver got by Leslie Bernardi 7-1 and Stephanie Hefner 7-2 to draw Malm. Juana drew Lovely, who, following her defeat at the hands of Williams, had downed Nicole Fleming, double hill, and Meredith Lynch 7-5.
 
Malm squeaked by Seaver 7-6, and in the quarterfinals, met up with Lovely, who'd eliminated Juana 7-5. In her 'easiest' loss-side match, Lovely downed Malm 7-2. In what proved to be her toughest loss-side match, Lovely fell to Menard 7-3 in the semifinals.
 
Menard took the opening set of the true double elimination final against Williams 7-4. She took the second set by the same score, and claimed (for Canada) the event title.
The North American Pool Tour thanked the ownership and staff at Hard Times in Sacramento, along with sponsors J. Pechauer Cues, EYO Cues, Rail2Rail Productions, Tara Williams, and MZTam Trinh Designs. Though the complete NAPT schedule of events is still undergoing revisions, the next firmly scheduled event will be the Summer Classic, to be hosted by Shooter's in Chicago on the weekend of August 17-20. Another event has been firmly scheduled for November 2-5 at Mark Griffin's new pool venue, Griff's Billiards in Las Vegas.