Sunday, September 27, 2009

US Amateur Championship Qualifier

Phew...loooooooong weekend, small tournament...I don't get it!
I was orginially scheduled to qualify for the US amateur championships at Strokers II in Tampa last weekend, but as most of you know, I was in Colorado. Sooooo, I was luck that they were able to change it for this weekend in Gainesville. I didn't know what to expect, I heard a lot of great things about the pool hall Art of Billiards, had never been there and didn't even recognize a name on the roster...???????
Well I opted against getting a hotel room as it was less than a 2 hour drive...I got there this past Saturday at 9 am when the doors opened. Beautiful Diamond tables filled up te room and I immediately got practice.Registration and the players meeting took place and matches started getting called around 11ish,
I didn't receive a bye in the 11-13 woman field hence I had a first round match. I started out ok, but missed a lot of shots early on which cost me. Don't remember much other than that besides a stupid shot on a 9 that I scratched on. the match went hill-hill and i pulled it out with a 3-9 combo.
My next match was called a little after 1. This match went a little smoother for me and I pulled it out 5-1. Then the dragging started, my next match wasn't scheduled until 5:30...I mean come on, seriously?
I walked around, chatted with some people I knew and with some others that recognized me from when I won in 2006. I finally decided to go out to my car and just relax, lay back and get some shut-eye...:)
I went back in the pool rooma little before 5....I think it was around that time my next match started. This match was looking tight from the onset. I broke the 1st rack of 8 ball, didn't make a ball, she ran out, she broke didn't make anything I ran out. She was a real good 8 ball player and pocketed balls easily. she was up on me after the 8ball set 2-1....I woke up in 9 ball though and pulled out the match 5-3.
I had one last match for the 7:30pm....for queen of the hill.
This was a tough match.....again I found myself down 2-1 after the 8 ball set....made some uncharacteristic mistakes in the 9 ball set and the match reached double hill....we traded misses/safes on the 7 ball until I was left a viable shot...the 8 ball wasn't going to be pretty though...I got the best shape I could, but was left one tough cut shot up the rail past the side pocket. I took my time, got up and down a couple times and eventually pocketed it and left a long cut on the 9 ball, ugh. (doesn't ever get any easier, does it?) I again took my time and shot it in.
WooHoo! So now I am Queen of the hill! and more importantly finally done for the night....but i had my drive home and then back again the next morning for 1 whole match! Doesn't that sound great!
Yeah...ok, so I drove back on Sunday. I got there a little early in hopes of getting some sort of practice....yeah that didn't happen. I got about 5 minutes before my match was called....
somewhere around 2 the match was called. One final race to 9.
I started out on the wrong foot, shooting cut shots straight into the rail. I switched to defense mode and was able to tie up after the 8 ball set 3-3.
I came out strong in 9ball. Don't remember exact scored, but was up by a 2 game lead....I quickly lost that with stupid misses. All in all, I know I missed two 8 balls and a 9 ball and the match reached double hill....again....
There was an ugly cluster of balls and of course no 3-foul in this tournament. We traded misses on the 2 ball for awhile. I went for a ridiculous attempt at a carom on the 9 ball from the 3...yeah that didn't work out so well. She missed and left me an off angle 3-4 combo, I opted a safe, but fell short and her a shot. If the match wasn't double hill, she would have drilled this shot and never looked back, but I think the nerves got to her and she dogged it pretty badly....during the miss, the balls got shuffled and the 4 ball got put in a bad situation by the side pocket. I studied that shot before I shot for awhile....debating to play safe on the 3 or go for the out. I finally opted to go for it...(Aggressive...hmm..maybe just a little)
So onto next obstacle....shooting the 3 ball across table, with the bridge and having to draw back to get perfect on the 4......I lined it up and fired it in....watching the cue ballcome back and willing it to pass the 5 ball so I could see the 4. PHEW!!! It got there!
Now, the 4 ball....again I looked at the shot and studied it from every angle.....I made up my mind got down and made it...the rest was a prett open lay out, I just had to keep my calm and make balls...which is what I did....another hill-hill thriller and I won!
I will be at Strokers II in November for the championship rounds! I can't wait!!!

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