Amanda Lampert Back in the Winning Saddle

Heather Pulford and Amanda Lampert

The 7th stop on the 2010 OB Cues Ladies Tour calendar was held September 11th-12th in Arlington, Texas.  Thirty-eight ladies made the trek to Rusty's Billiards and a fun and satisfying experience was had by all.  This was the second time this year for Rusty's to serve as one of our tour hosts and we greatly appreciate their support, hospitality and invitation to come back.  Thank you to Jeff, Tracie, Gilbert, Sarah and all the Rusty's crew.  Royce Bunnell of OB Cues, our main tour sponsor, was on hand to sweat the action along with numerous fans, friends and player's family members.  

Players from Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and California participated in this two day double elimination 9-ball event.  By day's end on Saturday, 4 players were still undefeated.  Marquee matchups for Sunday included Lisa Marr vs. Michelle Cortez and Amanda Lampert vs. Heather Pulford.  Still in the Main Event and continuing the hard fight with one loss was Jennifer Kraber vs. Rebecca Riley and Orietta Strickland vs. Melinda Bailey.  The Strickland vs. Bailey match-up would be a rematch as Melinda soundly defeated Orietta 7-3 in their 1st match earlier on Saturday.  Melinda, former board member and 2009 Most Improved Player had the toughest bracket of the tournament.  She started out with a match against Orietta, then Jennifer Kraber, current 2010 tour points leader, whom she defeated 7-3.  The tough match-ups were not letting up yet as she continued to play strong, and her next match was against eventual winner Amanda Lampert.  Amanda, well known for winning many, many tournaments, and also being a best friend of Melinda, fans and observers knew it was going to be a good match.  Melinda was down 3-6 in a race to 7 and fought back hard to bring it to hill-hill.  Amanda, a tough fighter herself, dug down deep and was able to secure the win.  Continuing with Melinda's matchups on Sunday and on the one-loss side, she defeated Orietta 7-5, Michelle Cortez 7-2 and then faced her next opponent Heather Pulford, former Hunter Amateur Classics tour champion and former WPBA pro.  Heather, still showing her championship style of play, was able to secure the win 7-5.  All in all, it was a great tournament for Melinda and a solid 4th place finish.  Good shooting, Melinda.

As the quest for 2010 tour champion is still close, teetering between Jennifer Kraber and Lisa Marr, it was Lisa who is now back in the lead but only by 40 points.   With 2 stops left, it will be an interesting race to the finish for sure.  Lisa, after suffering an unexpected shellacking from Heather, 0-7 finished 3rd.  Although it was a disappointing tournament for Lisa, not a bad finish nonetheless.  Congrats Lisa!

The finals match between Amanda Lampert and Heather Pulford seemed like old times.   These two have been pitted against each other many times before.  Heather, formerly from Austin, Texas, last year moved to the Bay area and it was indeed a pleasant surprise to the players and fans to see her smiling face and superb playing skills once again.  Heather would have to defeat Amanda twice if she was going to take 1st  place.  As the finals commenced, the match was a hard fought battle as we all expected.  Unfortunately, Amanda was missing some critical shots and Heather was able to close out the games and was the first to reach the hill with a score of 6-3.  The next game they both played some awesome safeties but it was Heather who had the chance to take the 1st  set by pocketing the 9-ball in the corner pocket.  Amanda looked like she knew it was going to be a second set as she waited for Heather to shoot the 9-ball.  Unfortunately, the cue ball was on the rail and Heather missed the 9-ball by hanging it in the pocket.  Amanda saw new life and sprang out of her chair to pocket the 9-ball, and it was 6-4, game on.  Amanda did not look back and came on strong.  The match was tied at 6-6, and with 4 balls left, Heather saw the out for the 6-7-8-9, but came up short on the 7-ball and Amanda was able to run out for her 1st place tour win for this year.  Applause, Applause to both ladies for an awesome tournament!

A Second Chance tournament was held on Sunday with 15 players and $120 added monies.  Julie Stephenson, an OB Cues Ladies Tour board member, won this event.  Ashley Nandrasy took second place.

Next stop:  Fast Eddie's, Austin, Texas – October 9th and 10th.

See you there:  Good Pool, Good Friends, Good Times