Stacie Bourbeau of Orange, Mass., is this year’s U.S. Amateur Champion in the Women’s Division. Bourbeau defeated former champion Dana Aft of Marietta, Ga., 9-7 in the final round.
The finale opened in the 8-Ball set. Bourbeau got on the scoresheet first with a win, but Aft came right back to tie it 1-1. The same scenario played out over the next two games. Tied 2-2, Aft pulled ahead slightly with a win in the fifth game. Bourbeau quickly countered and they split the 8-Ball set 3-3.
As they moved to the 9-Ball set, a similiar pattern emerged, with Bourbeau winning one game, Aft the next. The match finally seemed to take a turn in Bourbeau’s direction in the fifth game of the 9-Ball set. Aft had a chance to take the lead, but left the 9-ball hanging, giving Bourbeau an easy out for her fifth match lead. Moments later she pocketed the 9-on-the-snap, opening up a 7-5 lead. With her confidence mounting, a third straight win put Bourbeau on-the-hill.
Aft, the seasoned U.S. Amateur Championship veteran, refused to break. She battled back to win the next two games, again pulling within one of Bourbeau. Moments later though, her comeback bid fell short, as Bourbeau won the final game she needed for a 9-7 victory.
In a great show of sportsmanship, both ladies embraced as the crowd cheered the newly crowned champion.
Bourbeau secured the title in only her second U.S. Amateur Championship appearance. For the Runner-up Aft, it was her highest finish in the U.S. Amateur Championship since winning the title in 2013. Samantha Barrett of Woburn, Mass., took home 3rd Place in this year’s event.