Lynch comes from the loss side to defeat Pao in finals of JPNEWT season opener
Skip Maloney - AzB Staff
Mar. 21, 2017
Meredith Lynch
Meredith Lynch
About five weeks after chalking up a victory at the Virginia State Women's 10-Ball Championships, Meredith Lynch, after being defeated by Caroline Pao, came back from the loss side to down Pao in the finals and win the season opener on the J. Pechauer Northeast Women's Tour. The $1,000-added event ($500 from Coins of the Realm) drew 34 entrants to Triple Nines Bar & Billiards in Elkridge, MD.
 
Lynch and Pao met first in a winners' side semifinal. After being awarded an opening round bye, Lynch defeated Kia Sidbury, Denise Reeve and Jenn Keeney by an aggregate score of 24-10 (70%), to draw Pao. Pao, who'd also picked up an opening round bye, had defeated Tina Malm, Nicole Fleming and Tina Scott and came into the winners' side semifinal versus Lynch with a 24-7 record (77%). Nicole Monaco, in the meantime, faced Carol V. Clark in the other winners' side semifinal.
 
Pao gave up a single rack to Lynch, and in the hot seat match, faced Monaco, who'd sent Clark to the loss side 7-4. Pao downed Monaco 8-3 to claim the hot seat, chalking up what would prove to be her last match win. 
 
On the loss side, Lynch drew Kathleen Lawless, who'd defeated Nicole King 7-4 and Tina Castillo 7-3 to reach her. Clark drew the 2016 tour's #1 player and tour director, Linda Shea, who'd gotten by Jenn Keeney 7-4 and Kathy Friend 9-7. 
 
Lynch and Shea advanced to the quarterfinals; Lynch 8-3 over Lawless and Shea 9-5 over Clark. Lynch ended Shea's weekend 8-6 in those quarterfinals, and then, by the same score, defeated Monaco for a second shot at Pao in the hot seat.
 
Lynch came into the finals looking for her second victory on the JPNEWT. She'd competed seven times in 2016, winning once in October. Pao, according to our records, first cashed on the JPNEWT in 2003, and though she'd been runner-up numerous times, had never won. Their mutual search for a milestone in their separate careers led to a double hill fight that Lynch eventually won to claim her second JPNEWT title, and temporarily at least, place herself at the top of the 2017 tour rankings.
 
Tour director Linda Shea thanked the ownership and staff at Triple Nines, as well as Coins of the Realm for the $500 money-added to the first ($300), second and third ($100 each) place payouts. The next stop on the JPNEWT, scheduled for April 29-30, will be hosted by Markley Billiards in Norristown, PA.