Carolina Women’s Billiard Classic Highlighted by All-Asian Final

Ga Young Kim

Two up-and-coming players traveled 12000 miles each to steal the spotlight in the first event on the 2007 WPBA tour. Korean-born Ga-Young Kim defeated Xiaoting Pan of China in a hill-hill battle that had the Carolina crowd on the edge of their seats.

In the semi-finals, Kim won convincingly over previous champion and top-ranked Allison Fisher (7-2). Then Pan, who had upset Vivian Villarreal on Friday (9-3), showed that it was no fluke as she defeated Villarreal a second time (7-3).

Villarreal was the only player to come over from the one-loss side and advance in the round of 16. She defeated Jeanette Lee (9-4) and defending champion Karen Corr (9-7), setting up the rematch with Pan in the semi-finals on Sunday.

Pan defeated Kelly Fisher in the round of 16 (9-8) and Tiffany Nelson (9-4) to secure her spot in the semi-finals on Sunday.

In the other semi-final bracket, Allison Fisher had defeated Kim Shaw (9-2) and Gerda Hofstatter (9-5). Kim posted victories over Tracie Hines (9-1) and Monica Webb (9-7).

After two days of competition, the field had been narrowed to 30 players – 16 who were still undefeated and 14 remaining on the one-loss side. On Saturday evening, the final eight players on the one-loss side would draw random pairings against the eight undefeated players. From that point forward, the format would be single elimination.

On the winners' side, Morgan Steinman lost to Tiffany Nelson (9-5). Steinman then defeated Melissa Little (9-6) and drew Nelson in the round of 16, losing once again (9-3).

On the one-loss side, Val Finnie survived two hill-hill matches against Miyuki Sakai and Sarah Ellerby before losing in the round of 16 to Corr in a rout (9-0).

Two other hill-hill matches on the one-loss side included Julia Gabriel over Belinda Calhoun and Ewa Laurance over Hsin Huang to advance to the round of 16.

The final match was a beautiful display of skill and talent which started with a fortunate roll for Kim. After pocketing the one-ball, the cue traveled the length of the table and bumped the nine-ball into the corner. With an apologetic wave of the hand, she shook her head and smiled as the crowd cheered.

Midway through the 13th and final rack, Kim shot a two rail kick-safe at the 3-ball. The object ball found the far corner and left Kim no choice but to shoot safe on the 4-ball. Pan returned the favor but left the object ball hanging in the corner. Kim kicked the 4-ball in and ran out, taking first place and a check for $13500.

Complete brackets can be found at

This was the third consecutive year of the Carolina Women's Billiard Classic. Held at the Gateway Convention Centre in Rocky Mount, NC, it was the first stop on the 2007 WPBA Tour and will be televised worldwide on ESPN.