Ranola and Ford Split Women’s Open Predator Event

Iris Ranola, Tony Robles and Liz Ford

This past weekend, Comet Billiards hosted the Women's Open Predator 9-ball Event sponsored by Jim Murnak Cue Cases.  The event brought in WPBA pros Liz Ford, Meghan Minerich and Caroline PaoIris Ranola, who has been cleaning up the regional events attended, along with recent Tri-State Invitational runner up Gail Glazebrook and the always deadly Emily Duddy arrived with Asia, who recently won the JPNEWT qualifier spot.

The draw brought a very difficult 1st round match for Iris Ranola and Meghan Minerich.  After moving here in February from the Philippines, Iris is a recent powerhouse edition to the northeast women's events, winning many of the region's qualifiers this year.  Meghan Minerich, sponsored by Gallery Billiards, has been on the pro circuit for a number of years now.  The ladies traded racks back and forth until a costly 8-ball miss proved deadly for Minerich and allowed Ranola to pull ahead and close the match 7-5, sending Minerich to the one-loss side much earlier than expected.

Liz Ford was playing very strong pool this weekend.  After a 7-0 win over Glazebrook, she continued her dominance on the winner's side until she met with Caroline Pao in the quarter finals.  Pao started the day with a nail-biter in the first round as Olga Gashkova fought tooth and nail against the WPBA pro, but a 6-ball miss in rack 13 allowed Pao to squeeze out the win 7-6.  After that Pao blazed through the winner's side to meet up with Ford.  This was a great match as both players were equaling hungry for the win.  At hill-hill it was still a coin toss as to who was going to take the match.  Pao proved victorious as she clenched the win 7-6.  

Emily Duddy initially lost to Ford earlier in the day and was clearing the one-loss bracket.  A close call with up and coming player, Borana Andoni 7-5 seemed to give Duddy the steam she needed to beat the dangerous Asia 7-5.  This set up another chance at Ford.  Unfortunately for Duddy, the second time was no different as Ford continued to show her experience and talent leaving Duddy to settle for 4th place.

Exhibiting a phenomenal break, impeccable cue ball control and nerves of steel, Iris Ranola has been dominating the women players of the northeast.  As the winner's bracket came to the hot-seat match, Pao struggled to maintain her momentum and fell 7-3 to Ranola setting up a rematch between Ford and Pao.  The loss to Ranola may have carried into Pao's rematch with Ford.  Both ladies were visibly tired and the day's pressures had clearly taken a toll on each player's game, but Ford was relentless and trudged through the match, not allowing Pao much room for error.  As Pao struggled, Ford dominated and clenched the match 7-1.  

The day was long and draining and so in the late hours of the event, both Ranola and Ford decided to crown the other as champion of the event, so the first Predator Women's Open 9-ball Event crowned Iris Ranola and Liz Forst co-champions of the tournament.  Congratulations to both ladies for a great tournament and thank you again Jim Murnak for sponsoring the event.