Local Favorite Blows the Competition Away at Tiger Canadian Women’s Tour

Krista Walsh, Veronique Menard & Janet Ritcey

The Tiger Canadian Women's Pool Tour held its first Women's Professional Billiard Association qualifier for the U.S Open this past weekend, at LeSkratch Billiards in Brossard, Quebec, Canada.  Tony Retsinas, owner of LeSkratch Billiards, graciously added the prize fund needed to send the winner on to represent Canada and the CWPT at the up coming U.S Open Championships in August 2009.  For more details on the U.S Open, check the WPBA website www.wpba.com.

Due to a death in the family, Sue Sepp, the tour director of the CWPT was unable to attend to run the event.  Janet Ritcey, Krista Walsh and I volunteered to run the event to show our support for Sue, the CWPT and its members.  Our thoughts are with you and your family Sue.  I wish to personally thank Janet and Krista and commend them on their good work.

With a spot open for a major event, this event would prove to be a true testament of a past Canadian Champion, and the local favorite Veronique Menard would literally blow the competition away.  Purchasing a table can either make you or break you, but in this case Menard put her newly installed Diamond table to use for this event, and went on to defeat Brittany Bryant who has been dominating the tour with win after win.  Veronique went undefeated on the A-side bracket with wins over Sylvie Contant, Kristy Devries, Leanne Amable, and Brittany Bryant to await the outcome between Denise Belanger and Miss Bryant.  Belanger lost her first match to Amable, hill-hill, sending her to the B-side taking the long route with wins over Anick Cadorette, Krista Walsh, Farla Salmanovitch, and Janet Ritcey which would end the night for Belanger and advance her to the next day against Amable once again.  This time around would be Denise's turn with a score of 7-3 and advance her to her next opponent Venus Belanger…no relation!!!  Venus started off strong and just by watching her, you could see the enjoyment in her while she played.  Veteran Belanger would oust her opponent but not before congratulating Venus on her hard earned 4th place.  Belanger would then end up against Bryant, where Bryant showed no mercy and capitalized on every mistake Belanger made, thus defeating her 7-3.  Miss Bryant would deservingly earn another crack at Menard as the finals were set for a true double elimination.  Both players see-sawed back and forth and kept the crowd intrigued with safety play after getting out of shape for their next ball.  Both players went game for game but not before Menard would reach the hill first.  Miss Bryant would then gain ball in hand after Menard fouled to avoid a set up of a 1-9 combination, giving Bryant a chance to 3 foul her opponent.  This is exactly how she planned it, and it paid off.  The score knotted at 6-6.  There was some confusion as to whose break it was and with that, because of a turn out of position played, Menard lost her chance to break in the last game.  With that, Bryant breaks and pockets no balls where Menard would play safe by skimming the 1 ball thus bringing the cue ball down table, where Brittany would have to kick at it.  Menard goes for the draw on the 1 and rattles the corner pocket leaving Bryant a long shot on the 1 ball pocketing it but soon watches the cue ball travel to end up behind the 3 ball and hooked solid.  Bryant then kicks two rails pockets the 2 ball, ”NICE SHOT” the crowd yells but then misses the 3 ball, leaving Menard an easy slice over to the corner pocket with shape for the 4, 5, 6, and suddenly misses a long shot on the 7 ball leaving Brittany a routine shot up the rail.  With the 7 ball at the opposite end of the table and a tough slice over to the corner pocket, Menard decides to go for it but ends up missing leaving Bryant an easy slice in the corner while needing to come around 3 rails for the 9 ball and the win.  Bryant ends up traveling past the 9 ball leaving her smiling and thinking, does she cut it or bank it! Bryant goes for the bank in the side and just misses by hitting the tip of the side pocket sending the 9 ball down towards the corner and leaving Menard a long shot once again.  Menard takes a deep breath gets down and with a stroke of confidence, pockets the 9 ball and the first win of three qualifiers to come.  Good luck Veronique and make us proud!!!

I would like to take the time to congratulate all the players who participated and I look forward to seeing you at many more events, and I would personally like to thank all the sponsors, LeSkratch, Tiger Products and a special thank you to all staff of LeSkratch for your hospitality, we look forward to coming back next year.