Kelly Fisher wins KWIKFIRE Finale to become Tour champion

Kelly Fisher and Gerda Hofstatter

Kelly Fisher, principal sponsor of the Southeast's KWIKFIRE Tour, which was organized to give area semi-pro players the opportunity to play against professionals, won the tour's season finale, and having won three of the tour's four events, she was also declared the tour's champion. The $1,500-added event, held on the weekend of December 11-12, drew 16 players to 150 N' Out in Mooresville, NC.

The event featured two matches between Fisher and Gerda Hofstatter. They met first in the battle for the hot seat, after Hofstatter had sent Katie Cowan west 9-6 and Fisher had dominated a match against Lisa Davids 9-1. Fisher got into the hot seat with a 9-2 win over Hofstatter.

On the one-loss side, Belinda Calhoun was waiting for Cowan. She'd advanced past Jacki Duggan and Val Finney to reach her. Davids drew Kristen Malone, who'd defeated Cheryl Pritchard and Lisa Cossette. Cowans, on her way to her best performance on the tour, and a likely candidate for an invitation to 2011 WPBA events, battled Calhoun to double hill before prevailing and moving on to the quarterfinals. Davids joined her, after a 7-3 victory over Malone, who, like Cowan, had performed beyond expectations to finish in the tie for fifth place. Malone and Cowan were recipients of unofficial “atta girl” comments from tour director Lindsay Gebel.

“Katie was shooting impeccably,” said Gebel of Cowan's performance, “and beat a lot of pros, who've been pros for a long time. She's never finished this high.

“Kristen, too,” she added of Malone. “She'd never finished in the money before, and this was a great performance for her.”

Cowan had one more step to climb; her quarterfinal matchup versus Davids, which she won 7-2. This set her up to face Hofstatter in the semifinals; a match won by Hofstatter 9-3 to set up a re-match against Fisher in the finals. Cowan's third place finish in this event left her in fourth place in tour standings, behind the two Fishers (Kelly and Allison), and Hofstatter.

As might be expected of the two professionals, a back and forth, single race-to-9 finals ensued. With neither player establishing any level of dominance, they battled to a 5-5 tie, before Fisher took control and won four straight to finish it.

Plans are still underway for next season's KWIKFIRE Tour, with Gebel advising players to watch the tour's Web site ( to keep abreast of the upcoming schedule.