Tiffany Nelson Storms Spirit Tour Field

Tiffany Nelson

Thirty-four ladies filled the Diamonds at Baron's Billiards in Bradenton, Florida for the Ladies Spirit Tour's third stop of the season, March 25th and 26th, 2006. The energy ran high and opportunity was on the line as two qualifiers, one donated by and one by Baron's Billiards, were up for grabs to the two highest-placed amateurs.

First-round upsets put tour-leaders Tracie Hines and Jeannie Seaver on the one-loss side out of the gate, placing some of the tour's fiercest competitors on both sides of the board. There was still plenty of top competition left on the winner's side with WPBA touring pros Kim Shaw and Tiffany Nelson making a mark, along with a determined Charlotte Sorenson, who has been on a qualifier quest this season. Shaw and Sorenson collided in the fourth round, taking it all the way to the hill with Sorenson edging out Shaw to win the match 7-6. Shaw joined the ranks on the B-side and was nudged by Debbie Schjodt 7-5 before chalking up a 7-1 win over Stephanie Mitchell and a closeout over Niki Rasmussen.

Back on the winner's side Tiffany Nelson was stunning all opponents in her path, posting match wins with landslide scores of 7-0, 7-0, 7-1 and 7-2, before reaching the hot seat match where she would face Sorenson. Sorenson was able to get the most games on Nelson of anyone so far but fell short of the mark as Nelson hammered out a 7-5 win securing her spot in the finals.

Shaw was still cutting a path through the B-side when she met a tough match in Tracie Hines who had been dominating her bracket after her first-round loss. Hines and Shaw went head to head and neared the end of their battle with 6 games apiece. Shaw was the one to catch the advantage in the final game to win 7-6 allowing her to advance to the semifinals to meet Sorenson. With a narrow hill-hill win in her rearview mirror, Shaw still had another tough battle ahead of her to make it through to the finals. Sorenson and Shaw put on a pressure-packed match for the crowd, taking it down to the wire 6-6. Shaw again kept control and seized the one-game opportunity winning the match 7-6.

It wasn't all a loss for Sorenson though as she secured her choice of the two qualifiers with her third-place finish. Sorenson chose the BCA Qualifier for Las Vegas. The second qualifier, a player's pass into the WPBA's San Diego Classic, was to be awarded to the winner of a playoff between 5th/6thplace; Leslee Davis Blaikee against Niki Rasmussen. Blaikee secured the win of the race-to-7 tie-breaker and was awarded her second qualifier of the season.

Back on the main stage, Nelson was rested up by the time Shaw reached the finals and Nelson jumped out to a fast start, leading 6-1 in the race to 7. Shaw mounted a comeback, tightening the score to 6-4 with two break and runs but a scratch on the 8-ball sealed her fate and Nelson took top honors with a 7-4 win. Results:
1st Tiffany Nelson $750
2nd Kim Shaw $550
3rd Charlotte Sorensen $400.00+ BCA's Qualifier to Las Vegas
4th Tracie Hines $275.00
5th/6th Leslee Davis Blaikee $175.00+ WPBA Qualifier to the San Diego Classic
5th/6th Niki Rasmussen $175.00
7th/8th Vanessa Seaver $100.00
7th/8th Stephanie Mitchell $100.00
9th/12th Crystal McCormick $50.00
9th/12th Ellen VanBuren $50.00
9th/12th Debbie Schjodt $50.00
9th/12th Dianna Lane $50.00

Photo courtesy of Roberta Case