Park and Shea Win on Tiger Pool Tour
Tiger Pool Tour / Sterling, VA

by Ceci Strain

The Tiger Pool Tour returned after a short summer break to First Break Café in Sterling, VA, August 25-26. The open division started off strong with a full 64-player field, but at the end of the weekend, Shin Park was the last man standing. In the women’s division, 15 players showed up, with Linda Shea taking top honors.
Most notably in Sunday’s final 16 was fifteen year-old Richard “The Kid” Barney from Hagerstown, MD. Barney met with an early placement into the elimination bracket with a 9-6 loss to Shawn Putnam in the second round on Saturday. The early loss didn’t faze “The Kid,” as he won his next matches until being eliminated by Mike Davis 7-3.

Park faced Larry Kressel on Sunday morning and sent him to the elimination round with a win of 9-4, just in time to meet up with tour regular Jerry Slivka. Though Park took a strong 6-1 lead, he missed the 6 ball in the eighth rack, and Slivka came back like a whirlwind to take the match 9-8.

Continuing In the elimination bracket, Shawn Putnam and Park continued to please the crowd by again bringing their matches to the hill. Shaun “Get Some” Wilkie was victorious over Putnam 7-6, and Park battled Davis to continue on with a win of 7-6. In the hot seat match, Slivka and Francisco Diaz seemed to be playing a speed pool match as they quickly ran through their games. Slivka had an early lead, and after a short trade-off in the middle of the set, he finally closed it out with a win of 9-5, sending Diaz over to the elimination bracket to wait for his next opponent.

Park methodically ran rack after rack against Wilkie in the quarterfinals, defeating him 7-2. He then moved on to the semifinals against road partner Diaz, and again he methodically defeated Diaz 7-5 for the opportunity to match up again with Slivka. However, because of a scheduling conflict, Slivka had to forfeit the final round to Park.

The one-day women’s event saw tour regular Cheryl Squire gain a notable win of 7-2 early in the day against current point’s winner, My-Hanh Lac, and a win over Sharon O’Hanlon 7-4 to reach the hot seat match against Linda Shea. Shea moved through the winners’ bracket and sent Kathleen Lawless to the elimination bracket 7-3.

The hot seat match in the ladies’ event was a close one, but Squire advanced with a final score of 7-5. Tina Meraglio, who had returned from a pool hiatus, had worked her way through the elimination bracket after a first-round loss and met up with Lawless in the quarterfinals. Meraglio was determined to move on to the semifinals and won the match 5-1. Shea wasn’t prepared to lose the tournament, and seemed determined as she practiced on another table straight through the quarterfinals. She was ready and quickly defeated Meraglio, moving on for a rematch against Squire.

In the single race-to-9 finals, Shea took a strong lead of 8-2 against Squire but didn’t close the door completely. Squire managed to fight back for a few more games before Shea finished the match with a win of 9-5.
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