Lee racks up 1st win on tour

January 24, 1994|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Contributing Writer

Jeanette Lee made the biggest shot in her brief career.

Taking a deep breath, the sixth-seeded Lee calmly placed the nine ball solidly in the far right corner pocket to win the second annual $50,000 Baltimore Billiards Classic at Eastpoint Mall. She claimed $5,500 for first place.

That shot clinched an 11-7 match win over defending world and national champion Loree Jon Jones, the top seed, and Lee's first tournament championship. The final match lasted one hour, 25 minutes.

This 48-player, nine-ball tournament kicked off the Women's Professional Billiards Association Tour, which makes 12 national stops.

"So many things were going through my head then," said Lee, 22, of New York, who has played billiards for only five years. "I couldn't believe it was happening. I thought I was going to faint."

Lee, who finished second in the world championship to Jones on Dec. 6 in Germany, won all six matches in the tournament. She defeated No. 4 Belinda Beardon, No. 2 Vivian Villarreal and Jones, who then had to play Villarreal in the semifinals for a second shot at Lee.

"She really hasn't improved since the world championship tournament. It's just when two good players play each other, whoever gets the rolls has the edge," said Jones, of

Hillsborough, N.J. "At the beginning of our match, I scratched twice but that's because of where she kicked the ball for me. I didn't make the mistakes; she forced me into those shots."

With the help of Jones' scratching twice, Lee ran out to leads of 6-1 and 9-4. Jones then made the apparent blowout an interesting match.

Following Jones' setting down nine straight for a game win, Jones landed the nine ball in the right near the pocket to close within 9-6 in a matter of seconds. Jones also won the next game to come as close as 9-7 until Lee rattled off the last two games.

"I wasn't watching the score at all until they announced I was 'on the hill' [one game away from victory]," Lee said. "And I knew that I had to get that game over quick because Jones is such a good player."

In the semifinal match, Jones narrowly defeated Villarreal, 9-7.

Jones, who handed Villarreal two early games by missing the eight ball, took control when faced with a 7-6 deficit. After knotting the match at seven games apiece, Jones knocked down 18 consecutive balls to win the next two games and the match.

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