There are different factors that motivate the top poolplayers to compete in the U.S. Amateur Championship. For some, it’s about advancing to the next level to compete at the pro level. For others, it’s about measuring their game against the very best of the amateur ranks. And for some, like Houston native Sonya Chbeen Hurst, it’s an opportunity to earn some respect for the time and hard work put in on the table.
Sonya began playing in the APA in 2005 as skill level 3. Since then she’s been working hard on her game and gaining the value experience that comes from playing a variety of competition. Now playing in the APA of North Alabama, where the newly wed has relocated, she has a new strategy for the game, and a solid perspective for what she’s wants to get out of her first U.S. Amateur Championship experience.
“Previously, my goal has been “THE WIN” rather than the execution of each shot. Now I look forward, with excitement and anticipation, to meeting the challenge of each opponent’s skills. Competing in this Championship tournament gives me an unparalleled opportunity to show people who I am as a pool player, and earn the respect of others for the time and dedication I have committed to the sport,” said Sonya.
Sonya enjoys meeting and playing with other women that share her passion for the game, and the opportunity to compete against the Women’s Professional Billiard Association (WPBA)’s best players in the U.S. Open would be a dream come true.
“To win the U.S. Amateur Championship title, well, words would not be adequate to describe how I would feel, but it would surely change my life. I would love nothing more than to be able to say I am a part of the WPBA,” she said.
Sonya got off to a strong start in the tournament, defeating defending champion Suzanne Smith 5-3. Unfortunately, she’d go on to lose two close matches and was eliminated.
However Sonya can head back to Huntsville knowing that her game was up to par with the best of the best.