Erica Park wins WPBA Qualifier

Chris Fields, Gary Gilsanan (room owner), Erica Park and Charlie Williams

Ft. Pierce, Fla. (Apr. 9, 2011) – The newest member of Charlie's Angels took the stage and the qualifying spot for the WPBA US Open on Saturday at the Flamingo Billiards Tour event in Ft. Pierce, FL, on Saturday.  Erica Park, managed and coached by world professional billiard player and promoter Charlie Williams, made her debut on the Flamingo Billiards Tour and played strong throughout the day, winning the event and the qualifier spot undefeated.  

Park handily won her first match against Jessica Barnes 7-1.  It wasn't so easy the rest of the day, though.  Amy Poulter, owner of Amy's Billiards, gave Park a run for her money but Park went on to win 7-5.  Park almost went west when she faced veteran player Helene Caukin.  But Caukin missed a crucial shot in the hill-hill match and allowed Park to take the win, guaranteeing Park a place in the final four redraw.   

JoAnn Mason Parker also made it to the redraw without much trouble winning over Sabra MacArthur Beahn 7-3, Susan Martin 7-1, and Lauren Pickard 7-2.

On the one-loss side, Caukin, who started the day strong with wins over Kelly Cavanaugh 7-5, and Chris Fields 7-5, before losing on the hill to Park, made it back to the redraw with a win over newcomer and former Hunter Tour player Sue Roberts 7-4.  Fields also made it to the redraw winning two hill-hill matches over FBT Director Mimi McAndrews and MacArthur Beahn, and a win over Poulter and Pickard, both 7-4.

In the semi-finals, Fields drew Parker, leaving Caukin matched up against Park for the second time in one day.  Caukin lost this time 7-3, in a manner uncharacteristic of her play earlier in the day.  The Fields – Parker matchup was a nail-biter that kept spectators glued to their seats.  Parker, who led the match most of the way, and has been playing lights out for the past several months, couldn't stop Fields in the end.  In the hill-hill match, Fields played the perfect three-rail safety which left the cue ball hidden on the long rail and the five-ball somewhere at the other end of the table.  Parker, not to be rattled, as expected made an almost perfect two rail kick, but it was just short of being good enough.  The cue ball hit the five, but left Fields with a shot and Fields went on to run out and take the match.  Field's win over Parker ended a three-event winning streak for the former US Open Champ.

Fields win over Parker put her in the finals against Park.  By then, Fields, who played almost non-stop the whole day coming from the one-loss side, was showing signs of fatigue.  Park, only 21 years old, took advantage and with her smooth stroke and fearless attitude, won the final match 7-3.

If Park's coaching from Williams continues to show results like it did this past weekend, Park could certainly see her name in the upper tier of the WPBA rankings one day.  Williams has coached several top-ranked WPBA players, including Tracie Hines, Debbie Schodjt, Miyuki Sakai, Ga-Young Kim, and former exempt player and 2011 Regional Tour Champion Yu Ram Cha.  As for Park, according to Williams, “I think Erica is on her way to joining the ranks of the other top girls I've coached.  She wants to be a champion, and I'll do my best to get her there.”

Many thanks again to room owners Bill and Joann Mallen, and Gary Gilsanan (, for being great hosts and supporting the Flamingo Billiards Tour.