Farthest Traveler Wins at Hunter Tour Stop

Estelle Bijnen

The Hunter Classics Amateur Women's Tour kicked off the 2007 season with a resounding 14th year in the making, with our first stop at Fast Eddie's, Round Rock, Texas this past weekend January 27-28. For 14 years, Wes Hunter, Alamogordo, New Mexico has been sponsoring the Hunter Classics tour and each year he has provided a custom Hunter Classics pool cue for every single one of the Hunter tour events and without Wes, this tour would not be possible. Wes, a big THANK YOU, from your Hunter girls.

Sixty-nine (69) players came out for this first stop and by day's end on Saturday, the usual top tour players were fighting this time through the "B" side of the bracket, and new faces surfaced on the "A" side still undefeated. Surprisingly, not returning in the top 16 player group was Amanda Lampert, fresh off her recent Regional Tour Championship win the previous weekend in Spring Hill, Florida, where she won entries into 7 of this year's WPBA events, including the BCA Enjoypool 9-ball competition in May in Las Vegas and the U.S. Open in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Amanda was awesome with a capital "A" and we couldn't be more proud of her! Amanda, congratulations as you represented the Hunter Tour well!

One new face to the Hunter event this weekend was Estelle Bijnen who just happened to be in the Austin neighborhood. All the way from The Netherlands, Holland, to be specific, Estelle was certainly on a quest and her great stroke and skilled shooting earned her a spot in the top 16 player group. Read more about Estelle's mission later in this article. Other state representatives from Colorado (Samm Diep), Arkansas (Lisa Marr), Missouri (Jennifer Combs), and of course, the home state of Texas (Leslie Anne Rogers, Helen Hayes, Jennifer Kraber, Tara McCracken, Chris White, Kyu Yi, Heather Lloyd, Terry Petrosino, Shayla Neris, Annie Doyle, Michelle Ram and Cristina Dela Garza), were all part of the top 16 group. Laura Bendakis from Chicago, IL was also present at Fast Eddie's and fell one spot short of the final 16 but we were glad to see her at the tournament nonetheless.

Jennifer Combs from Kansas City, MO had her highest tour finish yet with a nice 5th/6th place. Jennifer Kraber, Shayla Neris and Heather Lloyd, all from Austin, TX finished 4th, 3rd, and 2nd places respectively. For Jennifer Kraber and Shayla, they both finished with their highest tour finishes ever and witnessing their excellent game playing all weekend, they both are to be commended for jobs well done. Heather Lloyd, always one to be reckoned with on the pool table, came out in full force. Heather placed 3rd at the Regional Tour Championship last weekend in Spring Hill and she continued her great winning stride with a nice 2nd place finish this weekend.

Estelle, who performed pretty flawlessly this weekend, won the hot seat with a 7-0 win against Shayla Neris. So now Estelle just played the wait and see game to see who her opponent would be in the finals. Then it was a battle of the Jennifer's, (Jennifer Kraber vs. Jennifer Combs) with Jennifer Kraber winning 7-4. Then the battle of the Austin locals was set…Jennifer Kraber vs. Heather Lloyd for 4th place. Heather came out as the victor 7-3 and she then prepared for another Austin local battle with Shayla Neris. Shayla gave it her all but she couldn't overcome the ever resilient Heather where she earned another rematch with Estelle. Estelle earlier defeated Heather 3-7 and the final stage was set. Estelle proved too much for Heather and came away with her first Hunter tour win by a score of 7-4, plus the WPBA qualifier to be held at the Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City, Indiana in March.

Many, many thanks to Wes Hunter and his well-known Hunter Classics Custom Cues. Be sure to check out his awesome work here: http://www.hunterclassics.com/cues/hunterclassics.html Also superb Texas hospitality from Danny Minnick and Amie, the management team from Fast Eddie's plus all their friendly and hard-working staff members. We do so appreciate everyone!

Our next Hunter stop will be at Shooters II in Lake Jackson, TX, weekend of March 3rd-4th. Come on out for Good Pool, Good Friends, Good Times.