Cole wins NWPA Season Finale; Montour maintains # 1 ranking

Liz Cole (File photo courtesy of Anne Craig)

In the season finale of the Northwest Women's Pool Association (NWPA) tour on the weekend of November 6-7, Liz Cole went undefeated through six opponents to win her second straight and third overall NWPA stop.   In the event finals, she defeated Jana Montour, who had also won three of the tour's seven stops. Montour's second place finish in this season finale left her at the top of the NWPA rankings for the year, qualifying her for the WPBA's regional tour championships, at a date and time to be determined when all of the regional tours have completed their schedules. The $1,750-added season finale drew 35 entrants to The Parlor in Bellevue, WA.

Cole opened her tournament bid with a double hill victory over Kathy Stanley, and followed it with wins over Carol Mellors 7-2, and Shelby Locati 7-2 to move among the winners side final four, where she faced Cindy Sliva. Suzanne Smith, who'd shutout Adrianne Beach, defeated Alisha Rogers 7-3 and Shari Ross 7-5 faced Jackie Karol. Cole got into the hot seat match with a 7-4 win over Sliva, as Smith was busy surviving a double hill match that sent Karol west.  Cole got into the hot seat with a 7-2 win over Smith and awaited the return of Montour.

As Cole had done in the previous tour stop in September, Montour moved to the left bracket early in the contest.  With the 35 entrants dictating a 64-player bracket, Montour was in one of the only two opening round matches, defeating Jessica Orth 7-2. Shelby Locati sent her west 7-1 in the first full round of play on the winners' side. At this point, Montour went on an eight-match winning streak that would put her into the finals against Cole. Those eight matches included four double hill wins; three of them in a row, after she'd won her opening match on the one-loss side 6-2 over Aimee Chou.  The next three double hill victories over Brenda Willis, Kimberly Kirk and Denice White put her into the first money round against Mikki Small. A 6-4 win over Small set her up to face Karol coming over from the winners' side final four.  Regene Wentzel, in the meantime, on a seven-match, one-loss side streak of her own, defeated Shari Ross and Deby Welfringer, both 6-3, to draw Sliva. She then completed her streak with a 6-4 victory over Sliva and in the quarterfinals met Montour, who'd defeated Karol in the last of her double hill victories.

Montour made it seven in a row with a 6-3 win over Wentzel and chalked up her eighth with a 7-4 victory over Smith in the semifinals.  Montour took an early lead in the finals and was up by two at the midway mark 5-3. Cole fought back, and though down by three at 7-4, she won five straight to complete her undefeated weekend and Montour's bid for a fourth NWPA victory.  In terms of point standings, once Montour had moved into the money rounds, her first place finish in the tour rankings was guaranteed.

A $500-added Second Chance Tournament on Sunday, which drew 18 entrants, saw Kathy Stanley win a double hill final against Andy Ruth and take home the $110 first place prize.  Ruth pocketed $90,  with Jessica Orth finishing third ($70) and Brenda Willis in fourth place ($60).

The NWPA now awaits the results of nine other regional tours (including, among others, the J. Pechauer Northeast Women's Tour, OB Cues Tour and the KWIKFIRE tour) to determine who, among their membership, will qualify for the WPBA's regional championships, which will, in turn, determine who will be invited to participate in WPBA events in the coming year. According to NWPA spokeswoman Adrianne Beach, that decision should occur by the end of November.  The next scheduled ‘streaming' event for the NWPA will be the Little Creek Casino Tour 8-Ball Tournament, set for January 26-30, 2011.