Sakai Wins All-Star CAT Tour Opener

Sakai Wins All-Star CAT Tour Opener

The Chesapeake Area Tour held their 2004 Season Opener at Champion Billiards Sports Café in Rockville MD with an all-star field of 32 players, including many top players from Europe and Asia who were trying to win the WPBA Peoria qualifier that was up for grabs at this event.

Although it was her first 9-ball event on US Soil, most fans expected 5 time European Snooker Champion Kelly Fisher to be the favorite at this event. Those fans appeared to be correct as Fisher ran undefeated to the hot-seat and waited for an opponent.

On the one loss side, Miyuki Sakai (currently ranked #2 in Japan) was making amends for her opening round loss to Gail Grecar and winning tight match after tight match. Sakai defeated WPBA Touring Pro Tiffany Nelson 7-4, Belgian Champion Wendy Jans 7-6, Ellie Chang 7-6 and Kathleen Lawless 7-5 to get to the finals.

After winning 9 matches on the one-loss side, Sakai would not be denied in the finals as she defeated Fisher 7-5, 7-5 to earn the tournament win.

Sakai collected $480 plus the Peoria qualifier, while Fisher settled for $345 in second place prize money. Lawless and Chang filled out the top four spots.

The winner of the Cat Tour "Top Cat" award was also announced at this stop. This award was voted on by tour members and was based on the player who displayed the best sportmanship and game improvement. In a close vote, Evelyn Hazlett won the award and was presented with a plaque and free entry to each State Championship that the CAT Tour is throwing this year.

The CAT Tour will be at Bill & Billies CuesPort in Arnold, MD on April 3rd - 4th for the National Capital Women's 9-Ball Championship.

Complete Payouts:
1st Miyuki Sukai $480
2nd Kelly Fisher $345
3rd Kathleen Lawless $240
4th Ellie Chang $145
5th/6th China Chien, Wendy Jans $90
7th/8th Saeko Mori, Tiffany Nelson $75