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Fisher Spirits Away WPBA National Title
Nov 14, 2006, 9:55 AM

It all came down to two shots.

At hill-hill in the final of the Women's Professional Billiard Association Nationals, Korean Ga Young Kim had the title nearly locked up and safe from the formidable Allison Fisher, with just the 8 and 9 balls between her and the win.

Miscue. On a simple shot on the 8, her hard work to get to the final beating Karen Corr, 7-5, in the semifinal, and allowing her opponents no more than five games in race-to-9 rounds came clanking off the jaws.

"Actually, I never thought about missing the 8 ball," she said after the match, with a nervous giggle. "I felt a little bit bad. In the practice [strokes] I don't think I'm going to miss it, so I don't think about it so much, but need to more focus and then I need the more consistency," she said.

Even the veteran Fisher struggled with her focus, fighting the pressure that comes with having to sink tournament-winning shots on tables with extremely unforgiving pockets.

"I felt sick," Fisher said. "I thought, 'Do I really have to shoot these two balls?'"

Fisher was left with a delicate cut shot on the 8 ball, which she pocketed successfully, but left herself on the rail with a natural scratch shot on the final 9. "I had to roll it, which is dangerous," Fisher said. "You've just got to rely on your arm, which feels like jelly, and hope it goes through in a straight line."

In a true statement to Fisher's experience, her arm came through. She pocketed the 9, without even coming close to scratching, and was soon lifting the 2006 Nationals trophy to a standing crowd at the Chinook Winds Casino in Lincoln City, Ore.

Fisher beat fellow Fisher, Kelly, in the semifinal, 7-5, to advance to the final. Her win was compliments of a few empty breaks on Kelly's part, as well as some very cunning safety play.

Kim beat the exacting Irish Invader, Corr, in semifinal play, 7-5. Kim reached the hill in impressively fast fashion, holding Corr to two games, but Corr mounted a marvelous comeback in game 9. After sinking a beautiful jump shot on the 1, she gained perfect position on the 2 ball and her ear-to-ear grin was evidence of confidence returned. Corr took three games in a row, but a miss on the 2 ball at 5-6 marked her end. Before Corr could reach the hill, Kim closed out the deal, 7-5.

Fisher won the WPBA U.S. Open the event prior, after undergoing a surgery to remove a cancerous growth under her eye. "I'm proud that I've come through to win two of the major titles, back to back," Fisher said. "You know, I had my little scare with my eye, so it's been tough, but this was a big finish."