Corrine Johnson Takes Tiger Canadian Tour Stop

Corrine Johnson

The Tiger Canadian Women's Pool Tour held its fourth event of the 2007 season at Bobby D's Billiards & Grill, in Burlington, Ontario. The field of 27 players included several well-known “Open” players: Rachael Abbink, Terri Mason, Grace Nakamura and Naomi Williams. The event was sponsored by Tiger Products and Lockhart Custom Cues. Many thanks go to room owner Barb Markieta and her staff for hosting this event and taking care of the players and spectators over the two day event.

Sunday saw the return of the top eight players of the two day event: Naomi Williams, Terri "Tiger" Mason, Grace Nakamura, Denise Belanger, Corrine Johnson, Darlene Gardiner and Sandie Chui.

After defeating Grace Nakamura (Open/8), and sending her to the one-loss bracket, Corrine Johnson (B+/6) faced Denise Belanger (A+/7) in the match for the Hot Seat. Although Belanger is the higher ranked player and spots one game to Johnson, she was struggling throughout her match, and wasn't able to compete with Johnson's precise shots and safeties, resulting with a 6-1 final score in favour of Johnson, and Belanger moving to the B-side of the tournament board to await her opponent in the B-side final.

In the B-side semi-final match, Terri “Tiger” Mason (Open/8) fights her way through after being sent to the one-loss bracket early on Saturday. The match to determine 4th place pits Mason against the rising star, Brittany Bryant (B+/6), the same player who knocked Mason out of the A-side on the first day of the event. It was a great match and the spectators were on the edge of their seats when the score went double-hill. The players each took shots at the 2-ball in the deciding rack of the match; the leave ended up in Bryant's favour, and she tried a 2-9 combination shot that resulted in the 9-ball rocketing in to the corner pocket for the win. Mason, playing in her first CWPT event of the year, settles for 4th place.

It's now Belanger's turn to face Bryant, in the match to get into the event finals. Belanger has her work cut out for her in this 7-6 race, and starts the match with a 9-run after Bryant comes up dry on the break. Belanger jumps out to a 2-0 lead, but Bryant, determined to stay in the match, fights back and takes control, going up five racks to Belanger's three. However, Belanger is a seasoned player and has been in this situation before; with fierce determination, Belanger claws her way to the hill, and the spectators are treated to another nail-biting match. The play goes back and forth in this critical rack; Belanger finally gets a good run at the table, and it looks like she's going to come out on top. However, fate had another plan; the 8-ball rattles in the corner and hangs there, waiting for Bryant to step to the table and finish the rack. Bryant solidly pots the last two balls of the rack and with a 6-6 final score, advances to the finals, leaving Belanger collecting the 3rd place prize. A great showing from Belanger, a player who's “just getting back into pool”!

The finals are under way with Corrine Johnson, so far undefeated in the event with wins over Sheryl Richmond, Naomi Williams, Grace Nakamura and Denise Belanger, facing off with Brittany Bryant. Johnson, after winning the A-side, needs to be beaten twice in this true double elimination format. The match begins with Bryant playing a smart game, earning herself ball-in-hand and running out the table from the 3-ball. Johnson answers back with a couple of nice outs and takes the lead in the match. The fourth frame looks to belong to Johnson as well, but there's an untimely rattle on the 9-ball, and Bryant knots the score at two racks apiece. What looks to be a really tight match, suddenly changes as Johnson turns up the heat and puts up the next three scores on the wire to go ahead 5-2 in the match. Johnson is on the hill and the end of the match looks imminent, but Bryant finds the extra energy to fire up and make a match out of it! With a missed safety on the 2-ball by Johnson, Bryant puts together some solid shots and inches the score to 5-3. The ninth frame is an exciting one with smart safeties by both players; Bryant comes out on top and closes the gap to 5-4. With an unfortunate scratch by Johnson, Bryant takes the ball-in-hand and begins her run-out to the hill; but a hanging 8-ball leaves the crowd gasping, and Johnson steps to the table to finish off the match. With a final score of 6-4, Corrine Johnson is crowned the Lockhart Cues Queen of the Hill!

Total Payout: $1,435.00 including the $500.00 added sponsored money

1st place – Corrine Johnson
2nd place – Brittany Bryant
3rd place – Denise Belanger
4th place – Terri Mason
5/6th place – Grace Nakamura/Darlene Gardiner
7/8th place – Naomi Williams/Sandie Chui

Second Chance Sunday Event
The Second Chance event was won by Janet Ritcey, recently transplanted from Halifax, Nova Scotia.