Rocha Reemerges at Gulf Coast Tour Season Opener
Natalie Rocha bested Sara Bork in the final match, 7-3, to capture the Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Billiards Tour, Season Opener, held at Big Tyme Billiards in Spring, Texas. Rocha ran through a tough field of 30 players, undefeated, marking her first Tour win in five years. Tour veteran, Sara Bork, clenched second place, and her highest finish to date.
On January 7th-8th, sponsors Poison by Predator Cues, Predator Cues, APA of North Harris County, Alamo Billiards, Outsville Billiards, and Team Straight Pool Eye, produced a successful season opener for the women of the Gulf Coast Tour. The two-day event featured a $1,000 added purse, drew 30 players, and paid out $1,600 in prize money. Big Tyme Billiards provided twenty-four, 7’ bar tables for match play, all covered in Predator Arcadia Reserve, tournament blue cloth, in a smoke-free environment. Predator provided Arcos II Pool Balls and Outsville Billiards supplied Accu-Rack template racks, for each table.
Making their way to the winners’ side, final four, Sara Bork defeated newcomer, Rebecca Buzek, 7-2, and Michelle Abernathy ousted Teresa Ballenger, 7-4. Robyn Petrosino slid past Kelly Isaac, 7-6, while Natalie Rocha bested Marilina “Big M” Nieves, 7-3. In the next round, Bork dusted off Abernathy, 7-3, while Rocha sent Petrosino west, 7-3. Rocha and Bork found themselves in unfamiliar territory. Rocha had not seen a hotseat match in years, while Bork earned a place in her first hot seat match, ever. Match action witnessed a focused Rocha make quick work of Bork, commanding the lead and closing out the set, 7-3. On the west side, down to the final 8 players in the event, Teresa “Princess of Pool” Garland shut out Buzek, 5-0, and Petrosino, 5-2, while Isaac eliminated Nieves, 5-1, and Abernathy, 5-3. Isaac denied Garland, 5-4, but fell to Bork, 5-2. With that win, Bork earned herself another shot at Rocha, and a chance to secure her first, Tour victory. In the final match, a determined Bork gave it her best shot, but was once again overpowered by Rocha, by the same score, 7-3. Congratulations to Natalie Rocha on this long awaited, Tour victory.
Congratulations to San Antonio’s Naomi Garcia who won the second chance 9-ball tournament, undefeated, and Verda Jones, who took second.
The Tour would like to thank all the players who participated in the first event of 2023, and welcome new players, Rebecca Buzek, Nikki Tutt, Linda Chapa, Leslie Pyle, Amber Quinn, Donna De Francesco, and Ashley Trejo. Reaching new heights, the Tour would like to commend new member, Rebecca Buzek, on her top 8 finish.
The next event will be held February 4th-5th at Big Tyme Billiards in Spring, Texas.
For more information about the Gulf Coast Tour, please visit www.GulfCoastWomensTour.com.
Payouts – Total $1,600
1st Natalie Rocha $600
2nd Sara Bork $380
3rd Kelly Isaac $260
4th Teresa Garland $140
5th-6th Robyn Petrosino, Michelle Abernathy $70 ea
7th-8th Marilina Nieves, Rebecca Buzek $40 ea