Rasmussen Rules the Flamingo Billiards Tour

(pctured left Kelly Cavanaugh, right winner Nicolle Rasmussen)

* reported by Michell Monk

Orlando, Fla. (April 11, 2010) ― April 10th brought out 11 women to the Flamingo Billiards Tour event held at Corner Pocket Billiards in Orlando, Florida.  Although a small field, it was filled with talent.  A new winner, but hardly a newcomer, emerged victorious ― Nicolle Rasmussen.

Sparks started flying early as two top players got knocked to the one-loss side after the first round.  Sandy Hamor defeated Helene Caukin and Jessica Barnes sent Stephanie Mitchell west.  Hamor continued her trek until losing to Kelly Cavanaugh.

Mimi McAndrews won her first two matches then lost to Rasmussen, who set a match record ― four 9-ball combination shots, almost made a fifth, and earning the nickname “Nicolle ride-the-nine Rasmussen!”  Keva Hevener, who lost to Cavanaugh, retaliated by defeating McAndrews, while Caukin avenged her earlier loss to Hamor.

The single-elimination portion of the tournament drew Hevener against Cavanaugh and Caukin against Rasmussen.  Caukin took the first game, but missed the 9-ball giving Rasmussen the second game. Next, Rasmussen snapped the nine in the side.  Jumping out to a 5-1 lead, Caukin cut into Rasmussen’s streak to trail by three.  However, Rasmussen won the next game putting her on the hill.  Caukin broke and ran to a tricky 3-ball and missed, allowing Rasmussen back to the table.  Methodically running the rack, Rasmussen “willed” the cue ball away from the pocket to avoid scratching in the side.  Rasmussen made the 9, eliminating Caukin 7-2.

In semi-final 2, Cavanaugh started out struggling with her mechanics and missing two 9-balls, which Hevener pocketed to go up 3-1. Next, Cavanaugh scratched on the break. Hevener, with ball-in-hand on the one, missed the shot trying to get difficult shape on the two.  Fortune turned and Cavanaugh ran out.  She easily caromed her next win after Hevener left the 9-ball hanging.  Hevener missed the 9-ball again, and Canavaugh took the lead 4-3. The players alternated the next three games, and Cavanaugh reached the hill first.  In the 11th game, Hevener maneuvered a meticulous out but left herself a difficult shot on the nine and missed.  Cavanaugh made a long 9-ball shot to win the match.

The finals pitted best friends Rasmussen against Cavanaugh.  Rasmussen scored first.  Cavanaugh quickly tied the match and then won the next two games.  Moments from taking the lead by three, Cavanaugh missed the 9-ball and Rasmussen pulled within one game.  Despite that miss, the force was with Cavanaugh as she methodically put together racks to reach the hill, leaving Rasmussen behind at three.  In the next game Rasmussen missed a touchy safe on the 4-ball leaving Cavanaugh a chance to close the match.  But fatigue and pressure set in and Cavanaugh uncharacteristically missed the 7-ball.  Rasmussen ran out and the score was 6-4.  With the momentum shifting again Rasmussen took the next two racks to tie the match.

The final game showcased nerves. Both players exchanged misses.  Rasmussen left the 6-ball hanging in the corner pocket leaving Cavanaugh with an extremely difficult position shot to the seven.  Jokingly, Cavanaugh asked Rasmussen if she could “phone a friend.”  Both laughed and then it was back to business. Cavanaugh made the shot, got shape for the 7-ball, made that shot and left a thin cut on the nine in the side but missed.  Rasmussen stepped to the table, lined up the shot and fired the 9-ball in, winning her first Flamingo Billiards Tour title!

The FBT and players would like to extend a special thanks to Tesh Patel of Corner Pocket Billiards (www.cornerpockerbilliards.com) for their patronage, equipment and hospitality.  Another very special thanks to Tour supporter Glenn Votel for adding $100 bonus to the payout.  And a huge thanks to our Tour sponsors Ozone Billiards (www.ozonebilliards.com), Boynton Billiards (www.boyntonbilliards.com) and Tweeten Fibre (www.tweeten.us) for their valued support.

RESULTS
($250 added, $100 bonus, modified double-elimination)

1st        Nicolle Rasmussen ($310 + $50 bonus)
2nd       Kelly Cavanaugh ($250 + $50 bonus)
3rd        Helene Caukin ($100)
3rd        Keva Hevener ($100)
5th        Sandi Hamor ($50)
5th        Mimi McAndrews ($50)
7th        Melissa Durkin
7th        Stephanie Mitchell
9th        Jessica Barnes
9th        Shanelle Lorraine
9th        Barbara Harris

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