Julia Gabriel wins Hunter qualifier

Julia Gabriel

The Hunter Classic's Women's Tour drew a field of 34 players to Paradise Billiards in Denver Colorado for their July tournament, a qualifier for the WPBA Florida Classic in September.

With the field just over 32 players, four players were unfortunate enough to not catch byes in the first round. Two of those players were powerhouses Orietta Strickland and Leslie Anne Rogers who faced each other. Strickland came out on top 7-6 and sent Rogers to the one-loss side.

On the winners side, Julia Gabriel was crushing the field with dominating wins. Gabriel took the hot-seat with a 7-3 win over Ellen Van Buren and Van Buren's three games was the most Gabriel allowed any opponent to score against her to that point.

As Gabriel relaxed waiting for an opponent, Leslie Anne Rogers continued her comeback on the left side of the board. A win over Stacy Jackman set up the semi-finals between Rogers and Van Buren. This match went to Rogers 7-6.

The finals started out with Rogers on a roll. She won the first three games and looked on her way to a win in the first set. Gabriel came back with three wins of her own and tied the match at 3-3. From there, the match tightened up with neither player able to grab a lead of more than one game. At 6-6, the three ball landed in a tough spot forcing numerous kicks and safeties by both players. Rogers was the player to win the battle for the three-ball, but she was stunned as the cue-ball found the bottom of a pocket after she made the 4-ball. This left Gabriel with ball-in-hand and a five ball out which she quickly navigated for the tournament win and the WPBA qualifier.

Gabriel pocketed $750 for the win, while Rogers settled for $560. Van Buren and Jackman filled out the top four spots.

Melinda Bailey went undefeated and beat Justine Karber from Arizona 7-6 in the finals to win the second chance tournament on Sunday.

The Hunter Classic's Women's Tour will be at Legend's Billiards in League City, TX on August 7-8 for their next event.

Incomplete Results:
1st Julia Gabriel $750 + qualifier
2nd Leslie Anne Rogers $560
3rd Ellen Van Buren $400
4th Stacy Jackman $270
5th/6th Bonnie Plowman, Julie Schultz $175