Kristen Barnes of Berkley, Mass., has been playing pool since she was a kid. During her family vacations each summer, her dad would be sure to book them at a hotel with a game room and pool table. For Barnes, playing pool was her absolute favorite thing to do. And today, at the age of 45, it still very much is!

Barnes has been trying to qualify for the U.S. Amateur Championship for the past six years. Now that she’s made it, she knows it’s a major accomplishment she’ll carry with her the rest of her life.

She’s been practicing three to four hours a day since qualifying for this year’s event. Win or lose, she’s looking forward to seeing how her game measures up against some of the top female players in the country. Regardless of the outcome, she knows the experience will help her continue to improve her game.

“I love this game with all my heart,” said Barnes. “It’s such an honor to be here!”

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