Corr clinches Carolina Women’s Billiard Classic

Karen Corr

Players and fans from around the world found their way to Rocky Mount, NC, for the 2006 Carolina Women's Billiard Classic, February 22-26. For five days, the superstars of the Women's Professional Billiard Association battled it out within the friendly confines of Brown Auditorium, on the campus of Nash Community College. One of only eight ESPN-televised events on the WPBA tour schedule, the Carolina Women's Billiard Classic (CWBC) is unique in the fact that all seven of the other tour events are hosted by casinos.

Equaling her biggest payday of 2005, Karen "The Irish Invader" Corr defeated Kelly "Kwik Fire" Fisher 7-5 in the championship match to earn the first place check of $13000. Up 4-3, Corr capitalized on a scratch by Fisher in the eighth game. Corr won the ninth rack, as well, going to the hill 6-3. Although Fisher managed to win the next two games, she scratched in the twelfth rack and never returned to the table. Corr's success may be attributable, in part, to her off-season participation in regional tours. She kept her game sharp by competing against the men during the WPBA winter break and finished first, second or third on several occasions.

Featuring the world's top 64 women pool players, the event proved that the cream really does rise to the top. Players seeded 1, 2, 3 and 5 met in the semifinals of the second annual CWBC. A total of eleven countries were represented, as well as 15 states. Jeanette "The Black Widow" Lee marked her first tournament appearance since August 5, 2005 due to back surgery. Always a crowd pleaser, Lee brought an added level of excitement whenever she entered the arena. All of the players graciously signed autographs and posed for photographs whenever asked.

The tournament began with a shocking upset. Fourth seed Ga-Young Kim made an early exit, losing two and out to Susan Mello (9-3) and Debbie Schjodt (9-6). Also surprising was 18-year-old newcomer Anna Kostanian who won her first three matches, including a 9-2 success over 7th ranked Gerda Hofstatter. Kostanian eventually lost out to Val Finnie 5-9, who avenged an earlier loss to the upstart.

Corr survived an early scare in the first round, defeating Alice Rim 9-7. Her next two wins were against Belinda Calhoun 9-3 and Romana Dokovic 9-6. To set up the final match against Fisher, Corr won handily against Miyuki Sakai 9-2, Val Finnie 9-2 and Monica Webb 7-1.

Fisher's path to the championship match proved to be quite a challenge. After cruising to a 9-1 victory over Susan Williams, she fought through Gail Grecar 9-6, Jennifer Chen 9-6 and Jennifer Barretta 9-4. Next, Fisher put the hammer down, defeating Jeanette "The Black Widow" Lee, 9-3. Then, as if to prove her previous accomplishment was no fluke, Fisher eliminated Allison "The Duchess of Doom" Fisher, currently ranked #1 in the world, 7-6. Down 3-6, Fisher (Kelly) won the last four games of the hill-hill match - running out the last rack - to earn her place in the final match against Corr.

The tournament featured an unusual and exciting twist in format. On Saturday afternoon, double elimination became sudden death for the final 16 players. The eight players on the undefeated side maintained their positions and awaited a randomly drawn opponent from the one-loss side. In dramatic fashion, and in front of a room full of spectators, the eight players on the one-loss side drew to determine their fate.

On Sunday, tournament director Steve Tipton worked the crowd like the professional that he is. Dressed in tuxedo, Tipton kept the crowd smiling and cheering, just as he had all week. Fans of all ages, newborns to octogenarians, were on-hand to witness the best in the world demonstrate their skills. The players were happy to oblige. With several matches going hill-hill, it was obvious they were focused on doing their best.

The CWBC is produced by Tony Davis of PrimeQuest Association (PQA) and relies on the combined effort of many volunteers as well as the support of sponsors and spectators.

Both semifinal matches as well as the championship match were captured by ESPN and will be broadcast at a later date. Mitch Laurance and Jeanette Lee will be featured as commentators. Watch for announcements on

Complete Results:
1st Karen Corr $13,000
2nd Kelly Fisher $8,000
3rd/4th Allison Fisher, Monica Webb $5300
5th/8th Jeannette Lee, Kim Shaw, Val Finnie, Tiffany Nelson $3000
9th/16th Gerda Hofstatter, Vivian Villarreal, Julie Kelly, Jennifer Barretta, Romana Dokovic, Tracie Hines, Miyuki Sakai, Anna Kostanian $2100
17th/24th Helena Thornfeldt, Jennifer Chen, Janet Atwell, Dawn Hopkins, Julie Melman, Darlene Stinson, Pan Xiaoting, Tina Pawloski $1500
25th/32nd Melissa Herndon, Jeannie Seaver, Angel Paglia, Hsin Huang, Melissa Morris, Wendy Jans, Susan Mello, Christy Norris $1000
33rd/48th Ewa Laurance, Debbie Schjodt, Sarah Rousey, Laura Smith, Belinda Calhoun, Stacy Hurst, Kim White, Gail Grecar, Alice Rim, Caroline Pao, Morgan Steinman, Heather Pulford-Lloyd, Lisa D'Atri, Jeri Engh, Ellen VanBuren, Joanne Corbett $600
49th/64th Ga-Young Kim, Sarah Ellerby, Megan Minerich, Jane Fujinaga, Sueyen Rhee, Liz Ford, Candi Rego, Bonnie Coats, Susan Williams, Maureen Seto, Vicki Paski, Leslie Anne Rogers, Helene Caukin, Cathy Metzinger, Gina Kim-Lipsky, Jennifer Page

Photo courtesy WPBA -