(photo: Stephanie Mitchell, Bill Mallen, Gary Gilsinan, and Helene Caukin at Ultimate Billiards)
June 26 was the latest installment of the Flamingo Billiards Tour held at Ultimate Billiards in Fort Pierce, Florida. With 5 new players, the field reached the highest of the season with 21 participants and proved to be more competitive than ever bringing about a another new member to the 2010 winners’ circle.
Kim Caso sent friend, Margie Soash west with a score of 7-4, and continued her trek through to the redraw with wins over Robin Boggs and Stephanie Mitchell. Melissa Durkin went on a rampage, defeating newcomer Susan Martin, Mimi McAndrews and Nicolle Rasmussen to reach the redraw. After receiving a bye in the first round, Jessica Barnes pulled out a 7-6 win over newcomer Cheryl Perez and a 7-4 over Janis Sessions to reach the redraw. Jeannie Seaver wreaked havoc on her bracket, with wins over Shanelle Loraine (7-0), newcomer Chris Ann Fields (7-3) and last month’s winner, Helene Caukin (7-2).
After a first round loss to Christie Cloke, newcomer Marina Souza defeated fellow friend Cheryl Perez, Susan Martin and jumped out to a 6-4 lead against Stephanie Mitchell. Mitchell battled back and won the match 7-6 to reach the redraw. Margie Soash fought back hard after her first round loss, defeating Amy Poulter, Chris Ann Fields and Nicolle Rasmussen to make the single elimination rounds.
The final two players to reach the redraw portion of the tournament were Kelly Cavanaugh and Helene Caukin. The final 8 were set and the B-side opponents began drawing their A-side matches. The first match saw Caukin draw Durkin. Caukin came out on fire and along with a few lucky rolls put the match away with a 7-1 score. The second match saw Soash draw to a rematch with Caso. Both players buckled down and continued to tie the match the entire way through. Double hill, Soash received ball in hand with 4 balls on the table and began her run out to a tough 9, which she lined up and fired in for the win.
The third match saw Cavanaugh matched up with Barnes in a see-saw battle until the score reached 3-3. Barnes caught a gear and won the match 7-4. The fourth and final match up was Mitchell and Seaver. Mitchell gained control early and never relinquished control, putting away the match with a 7-1 score.
In semi-final 1, Soash and Caukin maintained a close match, neither player able to gain more than a one game lead. With the score at 5-5, it was Caukin who would break away and win the match 7-5. In semi-final 2, Mitchell and Barnes went a different route with Barnes coming out of the gate strong and taking a 3-1 lead in the blink of an eye. itchell bared down with safety play, while Barnes made some uncharacteristic misses. Mitchell finished out the match 7-4.
The final stage was set and pitted veteran players, Mitchell versus Caukin. Caukin was looking for her second consecutive win of the season, while Mitchell was looking for her first tour title since last year. Both players started out tentative, making unforced errors early on. The match stayed even until the score reached 2-2. Mitchell began to slowly pull away by capitalizing on Caukin’s misses. Up 4-2, Mitchell returned the favor by missing a key shot, allowing Caukin to pull within one. The next two games saw creative play between both players on the 6-ball, until Mitchell gained the edge in both to make it and run out to reach the hill first. Caukin gained the edge in the next game and began her run until missing a crucial 6-ball allowing Mitchell a chance to close the match. Mitchell strategically pocketed balls but would overrun shape, leaving a difficult 9-ball, which she missed. Caukin pocketed it to put the score at 6-4. In the next game, again Mitchell had a chance to finish the match, but a surprising scratch on the 8, allowed Caukin to pull within one. Caukin was set to break for a chance to tie the match. She broke and watched the 9-ball fly into the side pocket but unfortunately continued looking on as the cue ball followed it. Mitchell took a deep breath and with ball in hand decided she could no longer make unforced errors and meticulously ran out the rack to win her 1st event this season.
The FBT, players and fans would like to extend a special thanks to Bill Mallen and Gary Gilsinan of Ultimate Billiards (www.ultimate-billiards.com) for their patronage, equipment and hospitality. Other huge thanks also go out to our tour sponsors Ozone Billiards (www.ozonebilliards.com), Boynton Billiards (www.boyntonbilliards.com) and Tweeten Fibre (www.tweeten.us) for their valued support.
The next Flaming Billiards Tour stop is August 7 at Corner Pocket Billiards in Orlando, Florida (www.cornerpocketbilliards.com) Please check (www.flamingobilliardstour.com) for more details and the complete schedule