Lac wins East Coast WPBA Regional Tour Championship

My Hanh Lac had to get by Megan Smith twice - first in the fifth round of a round robin series of seven matches and again in the finals - to win the WPBA Regional Tour Championships, held under the auspices of the MissCues Regional Ladies Tour on the weekend of April 14-15. The $2,000-added event drew 32 invited entrants to 150 'N Out Billiards in Mooreseville, NC.

The 32 entrants were split up into four groups of eight for the opening, seven-round series of round robin matches, which yielded two winners in each group. The resultant eight players moved into a single elimination set of quarterfinal and semifinal matches that resulted in the final matchup between Lac and Smith, both members of the first, round-robin grouping.

Advancement to the single elimination rounds was based on match wins, and total games won during the round-robin matches. Lac and Smith advanced with six wins each and a total of 29 games won in the first group. In the process, Janet Atwell, who'd defeated Lac in the second, round robin matchup 5-4, and was then defeated by Smith in the fourth round by the same score, was edged out of advancement to the final eight, when she dropped a second match in the round robin series. Emerging from the second group were Cheryl Pritchard and Buffy Jolie. Brianna Miller and Shanna Lewis advanced from Group Three, while Eugenia Gyftopoulos and Lisa Cossette advanced from Group Four.

Lac drew Gyftopoloulos in the quarterfinals and with a 9-4 victory, advanced to meet Miller, who'd defeated Pritchard in the other quarterfinal match 9-5. Smith faced Cossette in the quarterfinals, and defeated her 9-1, to face Jolie, who'd downed Lewis in their quarterfinal matchup 9-6. 

Both semifinal matches yielded the same score. Smith advanced to the finals 9-4 over Jolie, as Lac was busy eliminating Miller. Lac and Smith battled to double hill before Lac sunk the final ball to claim the regional tour title, and its $700 first prize. She will face the winner of the West Coast Regional Tour championships in a playoff at the WPBA US Open in June to determine eligibility for future WPBA events.

The top prizes in the event were portioned out based on overall event results, which left Smith in second place ($600), Miller in third ($500) and Buffy Jolie in fourth place ($400).