Ga Young Kim Defends US Open Title & Regains #1 Ranking
(Ga Young Kim Photo courtesy of WPBA Staff)
(Norman, OK) August 4th, 2010: It was a star-studded week at the Riverwind Hotel and Casino where the Women’s Professional Billiard Association held its prestigious 2010 US Open Championship. Sixty-four beautiful and talented billiard professionals converged on the Norman, Oklahoma venue in search of the championship title.
Thursday thru Friday’s match-play narrowed the field to eight finalists and included seven hours of ESPN original programming. Kyoko Sone reached her first WPBA TV appearance with wins over Julie Comitini, Jennifer Barretta, Megan Smith and Allison Fisher. She was defeated 7-4 by Julie Kelly who also made it to TV along with Vivian Villarreal, Jasmin Ouschan, Kim Shaw, Karen Corr, Ga Young Kim and Gerda Hofstatter.
Ouschan, hoping to maintain her #1 ranking, would have to get past an always aggressive Vivian Villarreal in the quarterfinals to keep her title hopes alive. It was a tight match as the score went hill-hill with Vivian breaking in the final game. After repeated safety shots on the 1-ball, it was Ouschan who made the first mistake giving Villarreal a look at a sliver of the 1-ball. Villarreal successfully pocketed the 1-ball with brilliant shape on the 2-ball and closed out the game and the match to knock out Ouschan.
With Ouschan out of the tournament, the #1 ranking on the tour was up for grabs and several top players were still in contention to grab those points. In other quarterfinal matches, Corr bested Shaw 7-5, Kelly sank Sone 7-4, and Kim defeated Hofstatter 7-3.
Corr started Sunday’s semifinal matches dominantly with a shut-out against Villarreal, while, Kim made quick work of Kelly with a 7-2 win and was on her way to face Corr in the finals. Kim and Corr have met many times in the finals with close matches. Kim had an opportunity to close out the match at 6-3 but came up short on the 7-ball and was left with a tough shot, which she missed. Corr capitalized on the mistake, stayed focus, and found herself facing a hill-hill game for the championship. With the final break of the match, Kim pocketed two balls and left a perfect opening on the 1-ball. She ran the first 2 balls with tough position on the 4-ball. Expeditiously, she pocketed the four thru the eight, but overran her position on the nine. Without a moment’s hesitation, Kim aimed thin and fired the nine in the corner for her second consecutive US Open Title. This win puts Ga Young Kim back on top of the WPBA rankings.
ESPN/2 coverage of the 2010 US Open Championship airs:
Quarterfinals: Sunday, Sept. 26, 1-5pm on ESPN2, and
Semis and Final: Sunday, Oct 3, 2–5pm on ESPN2.
WPBA extends many thanks to its sponsors: American Poolplayers Association, Cuetec Cues, Simonis Cloth, Delta-13 Rack, Diamond Billiards, Pooldawg, and Mueller Recreational Products. The WPBA would also like to thank the venue host, Riverwind Casino in Norman, Oklahoma who just recently updated their property to include a newly built hotel with a laundry list of amenities.
The next event, the WPBA Atlanta Classic, will be held at the Gwinnett Convention Center in Duluth, Georgia, Sept. 30 – Oct. 3rd during the first ever Atlanta Billiard Show produced by pro player Dawn Hopkins.
We look forward to seeing you in Duluth or at any event you may be able to attend. In the meantime, please visit HYPERLINK “http://www.wpba.com”www.wpba.com for the most up to date information and live streaming details for the women’s pro tour.