WPBA US Open Day One Update

Ramona Biddle

July 30th, 2009 – Norman, Oklahoma:  The WPBA's first major of the year began Thursday at the Riverwind Casino in earnest as 64 of the top players from around the world compete for the title of the US Open Champion.  Due to the fact that the WPBA will be taping all four Quarterfinal match-ups on Saturday, we're on an accelerated schedule and 8 players were eliminated Thursday night.  The WPBA welcomes back veteran players Ramona Biddle and WPBA Hall of Famer Vicki Paski and acknowledges the 2008 APA Ladies' Division Amateur 9 Ball Champion, Amy Chen.  This is Amy's first WPBA Professional Event.

The Riverwind Casino held a Celebrity Charity Pro-Am on Wednesday, July 29th, featuring Oklahoma Attorney General and Gubernatorial Drew Edmonson along with former Heisman Trophy winners Billy Sims and Jason White.  Both players hail from Oklahoma. Local television anchors Doug Warner and Kirsten McIntyre (KWTV) and KYIS radio morning show team Jack & Ron were also on hand for the fun.  

Match play began with few surprises as the majority of the top players won their first round match-ups.   Ramona Biddle posted the first minor upset of the day when she defeated Borderline Billiards owner and top Exempt Professional, Janet Atwell, but as Janet told me later, “Ramona played really well!”  Ramona went on to face Allison Fisher in the 2nd round and was defeated 9-2.   

Last year's dark horse, Pam Cimarelli, is back again this year at the US Open and won her first round match against Liz Ford. She went on to face The Black Widow, losing 9-7.  Both Ramona and Pam come back on Friday to continue through the 1-loss side.   Sarah Rousey and Miyuki Sakai competed versus each other in the first round, and it was close all the way, with Sarah emerging victorious 9-7.  Another tight match was the 2000 World 9 Ball Champion Julie Kelly vs. veteran player Stacy Novack.  The match went hill-hill but Stacy pulled ahead in the end winning 9-8.   

Top 40 Exempt Pro, Brittany Bryant from Canada played versus Florida Regional Tour player, Michell Monk and their match also went hill-hill.  Michell triumphed in the match to move on to her 2nd round match against Helena Thornfeldt but Helena proved too much and Michell lost 9-4.  

Jasmin Ouschan, who was one of 5 players traveling directly from the World Games in China to Oklahoma for our event, was feeling the effects as she went toe to toe with last year's Regional Tour Champion, Susan Mello.  Their match also went hill-hill but Jasmin toughed it out to win.  Jasmin faced Kim Shaw in the second round but lost 9-3 as Kim played very well.   Jasmin returns on Friday to face the winner of the Heather Lloyd/Kim Jones match.  

Kyoko Sone, who was the #40 Ranked WPBA Player at end of year 2008, faced off versus Norway's Line Kjorsvik in the 2nd round.  Line was also one of the players coming from The World Games and Kyoko made quick work of the match, winning 9-1.   

Second round excitement came in the form of the match between Ga Young Kim and Jennifer Barretta.  Jennifer, coming back on tour after taking a year off to care for her son, gave Ga Young a run for her money, taking the match hill-hill.  The end result favored Ga Young Kim who won 9-8.  

Eight players were eliminated Thursday; Sharon O'Hanlon, Liz Lovely, Susan Mello, Dawn Fox-Hutchinson, Sueyen Rhee, Maureen Seto, Caroline Pao and Melissa Little.

The action will be intense as players fight their way into the Quarterfinals by the end of the evening on Friday.  Stay tuned for more action from the WPBA US Open 9 Ball Championships 2009.  

Tournament Brackets are updated after each round; don't forget to refresh your browser!