Bernie Store Wins AWBT Season Opener

Bernie Store
The Arizona Women’s Billard Tour (AWBT) kicked off their 2015 Season on February 28th at Skip and Jan’s in Tempe with twenty eight players representing Phoenix, Tucson and Prescott, as well as California, New Mexico and Nevada. 
First round surprises saw tour veteran Susan Williams taking a first round forfeit loss as she couldn’t make it to her match in time. Susan was joined on the one loss side by Jaye Succo after a first round loss to Veronica Poore and Tracie Hamman who lost to Donna Taylor.
As Saturday play narrowed the field, the winners side came down to four players. Bernie Store and Sara Miller were heading towards a face off on one half of the bracket, while Veronica Poore and San Diego’s Cynthia Haefner were setting their sights on each other on the other half of the bracket.
As Saturday play ended, Claudia Justus eliminated Susan Williams 7-6 in 9th place. Other late Saturday matches saw Jodie Villegas eliminate Tami Hathcock 7-5, Barbara Lee beat Cathy Kelley 7-5 and Tina Hess defeating Beth Orth 7-4.
Sunday play began on the winners side where Bernie Store snuck by Sara Miller 7-6 and Cynthia Haefner sent Veronica Poore to the one loss side 7-3.
The one loss side saw Barbara Lee defeat Tina Hess 7-6 and Jodie Villegas eliminate Claudia Justus 7-3. Lee then went on to end Poore’s tournament in 5th place while Sara Miller was sending Villegas to the seats in 5th place to join Poore.
Barbara Lee kept her strong play going as she eliminated Sara Miller 7-4 and then went on to send Haefner back to California in third place 7-2.
As strong as Lee had been playing, she had no answer for Bernie Store in the finals, as Bernie cruised to a one-sided 9-3 win in the extended final match.
Sixteen players came back on Sunday to compete in the second chance tournament, which saw Heather Cortez (formerly Torpin) complete an undefeated run with a hill-hill win over Justine Bishop in the finals for first place.
Tour staff expressed their thanks to Natalie and her great staff at Skip and Jan’s for hosting their season opener. Thanks were also given to the “friends of the AWBT” who added $100 to the main event and $50 to the second chance tournament, as well as Las Gloria Grille for adding $100 to the main event. 
The AWBT will be at Bullshooters in Phoenix for their next event in April 25th and 26th.