Calhoun Wins Tiger SMART South Carolina Summer Classic

Belinda Calhoun, Kathleen Lawless and Christy Norris
Shore Thing Billiards in Myrtle Beach, SC was the host for the Tiger SMART South Carolina Summer Classic August 2-3, 2014. The event drew ladies from four states: Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.  Shore Thing, owned by Brent Hudgins, is a new venue on the tour for 2014, provided open tables, great food, and stellar service.  Tiger SMART is looking forward to returning in October for the WPBA South Carolina State 9-Ball Bar Table Championships.
The Summer Classic saw three new members getting their feet wet.  Stephanie Armstrong, an APA member from the Charlotte area who lost a thrilling hill-hill match for elimination, however, gained that all too critical feedback she will utilize moving forward; Linda Mills, an APA Division Rep from Augusta finishing a respectable 7th-8th place; and Christy Norris made her return debut to competition as if she hadn’t missed a beat.  Mother of three boys in high school each of which will graduate in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively, Mom showed she could still run out and jump balls with the best of them.  Christy finished in 3rd place. 
Congratulations to Cheryl Pritchard who had just returned from BCAPL Referee School in Las Vegas. Cheryl not only completed the course but excelled among her peers and refereed three shifts her first time out at the Nationals.  Along with referee duties, banner duties, photography duties, and just helping out wherever and whenever needed, Cheryl finished in 5th-6th.  Thank you, Cheryl.  Also finishing in 5th-6th was Lisa Cossette, a steady, talented player who lost a heartbreaker to Calhoun leading 6-4 in the race to seven.
Marianne “Miss Methodical” Merrill, the new APA Division Rep for Charlotte Metro APA, had another solid tournament performance defeating Norris 7-5 early but eventually lost a hill-hill thriller to Kathleen Lawless which sent her to the one loss bracket where she would eventually lose the rematch with Norris 5-7 giving her a second 4th place finish in as many tournaments.
The semi-final match up was between Kathleen Lawless, who finished 3rd last month in Augusta, and Whiteville, North Carolina’s own Christy Norris.  A close, exciting, very well played match by both players ended in a 7-5 win for Kathleen.
The finals would be one race to 9.  Earlier in the winner’s bracket final, Kathleen led 6-5 in the race to 7 against Calhoun but just got edged out 6-7.  Kathleen won the first game on Belinda’s break.  Belinda broke back right away and won the next two games for a 3-1 lead.  Kathleen again broke Belinda’s break to move within 1 at 2-3. Lawless scratched on the break in game 6 giving Calhoun the opportunity to go up 4-2. Game 7 Calhoun had to push.  Lawless made a nice one-rail, long-rail bank on the one ball and it looked as if she would pull back within one but failed to get out and went down 3, at 2-5.  Lawless made a nice out and pulled to 3-5.  At that point, it looked like she would close the gap to 1 but missed the out giving Belinda a 6-3 lead at which point Calhoun would put three more games together for a 9-3 win.
Tiger SMART would like to thank the entire membership for its support and good sportsmanship and is looking forward to seeing everyone at the next tour stop in Greensboro, NC at Gate City Billiards, September 13-14, 2014.
Many thanks to our title sponsor, Tony K. at Tiger Products, Ivan Lee at Simonis/Aramith, Joseph Mueller at Ozone Billiards, and David Hodges at Quick-Clean.  You guys are the best.  Your continued support is greatly appreciated.