Karen Corr Repeats at 2007 Mohegan Sun Tenth Annual International Tournament of Champions

Karen Corr
Karen Corr Repeats at 2007 Mohegan Sun Tenth Annual International Tournament of Champions

The Tenth Annual International Tournament of Champions was held at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut October 31st through November 1st. Defending champion Karen Corr was accounted for, not to mention several other heavy hitters within the women's professional arena including the likes of Allison Fisher, Kelly Fisher, and Monica Webb. In this winner-take-all event, the players are all so closely matched that even the slightest mistake could cost a player the title and $25,000 purse. The event is set-up to include two set matches with a race to four games within each set and if necessary, a tiebreaker rack should each opponent acquire a set.

The first semi-final consisted of Allison Fisher and Kelly Fisher – the battle of the Fisher's continues to rage on apparently as the two races to four were split. It was apparent that both women were struggling and were surely off their game. Kelly won set one with a score of 4-2 and Allison bit back with a 4-2 victory in set two. In the tiebreaker rack, Allison won the lag and broke. Kelly had the opportunity to kick at the one ball and missed providing Allison ball-in-hand – the rest is history as Allison ran out the rack for the win.

The second semi-final pitted defending champ Karen Corr against Monica Webb. In set one, the key moment came with Karen holding the lead 2-1. Karen missed shape on the six ball because she unintentionally cheated the pocket while pocketing the previous ball, but she then offered up a powerful jump shot setting up a run-out for a 3-1 set. In the next rack, it looked as though Monica would finally have a chance to jump back up on the board when Karen made a defensive error. Unfortunately, Monica missed the two ball offered by Karen allowing Karen to end the set with a three-nine combination 4-1.

The second set opened with a great kick safe by Monica, but Karen was all about jumping on this day and made the shot handily. Karen then played a safe allowing Monica another shot. Monica returned the favor with another fine safe, however, Karen was able to make the hit, leaving no shot on the four (with the four-nine combination sitting pretty) - Monica hit the ball well and took the 1-0 lead. Although Karen looked as though she would run out rack two, she missed shape on the six ball and ended up missing the ball. Monica finished up the remaining rack for a score of 2-0. A missed kick by Monica in the next rack gave Karen an opening, but the three ball had no opening and Karen missed the bank. Monica captured yet another rack at 3-0 and it appeared as though the match would end in a tiebreaker. When Karen over-cut the pesky three ball in the next rack, it looked as though Monica had a chance but missed an easy five ball which allowed Karen to get on the board 3-1. Rack five Monica breaks dry, but luckily leaves no shot – Karen plays a safe, but it was only passable. Monica tested Karen by applying a nice two way shot and ultimately wins the battle for table control. Karen was allowed out of her seat after a mistake by Monica and takes the score to 3-2, with the next rack pulling Karen even closer to the finish line 3-3. Monica offered a solid break in the final rack, but left herself a tough cut on the two ball up the long rail and was unable to complete the shot. Karen ran out the rack to win the set and the match.

The finals saw two women that are used to competing against each other – Allison Fisher and Karen Corr. With the highest single payday in women's events on the line, you can imagine the desire to finish on top. The first set came down to combination shots. Karen was outstanding in jumping out to a 2-0 lead. At 2-0, Karen made a brilliant two-nine combination to get on the hill first 3-0, and Allison had a seven-nine combination in the subsequent rack to pull within a 3-1 score, but missed it, so Karen took the set 4-0.

The second set opened with a push by Allison that appeared to be quite passive and ultimately allowed Karen to hook her. Allison made the hit and caused Karen a tougher shot on the two – she had to run into the three while pocketing the two to remain in shape. Karen hit the ball superbly and not only pocketed the ball, but got shape and ran out the remainder of the rack for a 1-0 lead. Karen then broke, made a ball, and played safe on the two ball. Allison hooked herself while pocketing the ball and then missed the kick. Karen took no time in finishing off the rack for a 2-0 score. The next rack saw a nice break by Allison, but little reward for her efforts. Allison was able to get to the point where she had a tricky three-seven combination but the balls jammed against each other, with neither dropping. The run out that Karen made from there had to be seen to be believed as the key shot was a long bank of the four ball into a ball leaning over the opposite corner and she also had to make a six-eight combination to get out for 3-0. The fourth rack saw Karen break dry, but fortunately did not leave much for Allison. Allison made the best of the table and played a fantastic safety which caused a difficult kick shot miss by Karen, allowing her back to the table to run out and bring the score to 3-1. Inclusive of the last four racks against Webb, Karen had won eleven consecutive racks, but this ended the streak. Allison then scratched on the break and although Karen did not run out the rack, she secured the table, the set and the match for the $25,000 win. Karen played brilliantly in this event and was a very deserving champion.