Defending champion Suzanne Smith from Edgewood, Wash., has arrived at Crooked Cue ready to defend her title. We spent a little time with Suzanne prior to her first match to find what’s been going on since last year’s big win.
APA: We’re 12 months removed from your U.S. Amateur Championship victory, tell us what you’ve been up to?
Suzanne: I got to go play in the U.S. Open, where I faced Allison Fisher, that was very exciting. I’ve been taking some lessons and trying to improve my game in addition to work and my daughter.
APA: Tell us a little bit more about your WPBA U.S. Open experience.
Suzanne: When I saw the draw and that I was facing Allison (Fisher) in the 1st Round it was kinda surreal. I think some people felt sorry for me, but I was so excited. She beat me 9-2, but I had my first ESPN interview which was cool. I went 2 and out, but I had a lot of fun.
APA: Did you learn anything about your game with that experience?
Suzanne: Allison actually complemented me on my shot making, but said I needed to work on my cue ball control because I would consistently get out of position, whereas the top players would stay in line better.
APA: Coming in as the defending champ, does that change anything for you going into the tournament this time around?
Suzanne: For the last couple of years I’ve been focusing on being present and not thinking about anything else except the shot I’m on and getting position on the next ball.
APA: What kind of expectations do you have for this year’s tournament?
Suzanne: It’s a good field, I feel like I’m right there. Anyone can win, but if I shot the best that I can, I think I’ve got a good shot.
APA: Anybody in particular you’re looking forward to matching up against?
Suzanne: Dana Aft and Stephanie Mitchell are pretty well known players, and they match up against each other and are both in my bracket. I think that’d be a good match up with either one.