Burwell goes undefeated for second time on JPNEWT, downs Shea twice to claim title

Kia Burwell, Kelly Wyatt, Judie Wilson, Eugenia Gyftopoulos, Nicole King and Linda Shea

In the first event of the second half of the 2021 J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour season, tour director Linda Shea and Kia Burwell moved into first and second place in the tour standings. Burwell went undefeated in the event and defeated Shea twice, but as runner-up, Shea added enough ‘standings’ points to get ahead of the tour’s first-half leader, Caroline Pao. Burwell’s undefeated run, her second on the tour this year, put her ahead of Pao, as well, and firmly into second place in the standings, ahead of Pao and Nicole Nester, who entered the event in third place in the tour standings, finished in the event tie for 7th/8th and ended up in fourth place in the standings, just behind Pao. The 7th event of the 12-event 2021 JPNEWT season drew 16 entrants to Triple Nines in Elkridge, MD. 

Burwell’s path to the winners’ circle went through Taylor Perkins 7-3 and Judie Wilson before running into Shea in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Kelly Wyatt, in the meantime, downed Melissa Jenkins 7-5 and Eugenia Gyftopoulos 7-3 to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match versus Nicole King. 

Burwell took the first of two versus Shea 7-2 to punch her ticket to the hot seat match. Wyatt joined her after downing King 7-2. Burwell claimed the hot seat in a double hill battle versus Wyatt and waited on Shea’s return.

Shea opened her loss-side trip back to a rematch against Burwell versus Gyftopoulos, who’d followed her defeat at the hands of Wyatt with loss-side victories over two Nicoles; Christ, 7-4 and Nester, 7-3. King picked up Judie Wilson, who’d followed her loss to Burwell with wins over Terri Thomas 7-4 and Kelly Daniel 7-3.

Shea eliminated Gyftopoulos 7-3, as King shut Wilson out. Shea then defeated King 7-3 in the quarterfinals and Wyatt 7-1 in the semifinals to earn a second shot at Burwell, waiting for her in the hot seat.

In the extended race-to-9 format, Shea had to reach ‘7’ first, to extend the race to 9. Burwell reached 7 first, ahead by four, to claim the event title. 

Tour director Shea thanked the ownership and staff at Triple Nines for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues, Bitzel and Associates PTPA Physical Therapy, George Hammerbacher (Advanced Pool Instructor) and, for the live stream of matches, Britanya E Rapp (angle aim Art). The next stop on the JPNEWT (#8), scheduled for September 18-19, will be hosted by First Break Sports Bar in Sterling, VA.