Ming Ng double dips Kraber to win 1st stop of On the Ball Ladies Tour in Houston

Ming Ng

Though Ming Ng has been slightly more ‘active’ this year than she was the year before (cashing in seven events this year vs. five events in 2020), last year was more productive for her financially because she won three of the five events in which she’d competed; the first stop on the Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Tour, the second stop on the former Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour and the Ladies Division of the 47th Annual Texas Open. Ng won her first 2021 event this past weekend (Oct. 16-17) when she took two out of three matches against Jennifer Kraber to win the opening stop of the On the Ball Ladies Tour (formerly the Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour). The $2,000-added event drew 19 entrants to Bogie’s Billiards in Houston, TX.

After an opening round bye, Ng got by Darcy Durham 7-4 and Kim Sanders 7-3 to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal matchup versus tour director Teresa Garland. Kraber, in the meantime, also with an opening round bye, had dispatched Natalie Mans and Cheyenne Valdez, both 7-4, to draw her winners’ side semifinal opponent, Courtney Peters.

Twenty-five games later, Ng and Kraber advanced to face each other in the hot seat match. Ng and Garland had battled to double hill before Ng prevailed, while Kraber and Peters came within a game of double hill (6-5), before Kraber chalked up the 7th rack that earned her the right to face Ng. Kraber then defeated Ng in their first of three, 7-3 to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Peters drew Chris Fields, who’d lost her opening round match in a double hill battle versus Kim Pierce and was working on a four-match, loss-side winning streak that had recently eliminated Kim Sanders and, in a rematch, Kim Pierce, both 7-5. Garland picked up Yvonne Asher, who’d been defeated by Peters in a winners’ side quarterfinal and had survived two straight double-hill matches against Shayla Neris and Natalie Rocha.

Peters and Fields battled back and forth to double hill before Peters advanced to the quarterfinals. Garland joined her after allowing Asher only a single rack. Peters did likewise to Garland in the quarterfinals, advancing to the semifinals 7-1.

The semifinals was about which of the two competitors who’d already been defeated once by the occupant of the hot seat, Jennifer Kraber, was going to get a second shot at her. Ming Ng earned the right at that second shot with a 7-3 victory over Peters.

Much as the two winners’ side semifinal matches had required 25 games to advance two competitors to the hot seat match, the true double elimination finals required 25 games to advance one of the competitors into the winners’ circle. Ng and Kraber fought to double hill in the opening set before Ng prevailed to force the second set. She took the second set 7-5 to claim the first event title of the On the Ball Ladies Tour.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Bogie’s Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor On the Ball. The next stop on the tour will be the $3,000-added tour finale, scheduled for the weekend of Nov. 20-21 at Skinny Bob’s in Round Rock, TX.