by Chris Tobin
Geraldine High School pupil Lydia Burnett starred at a pool competition in Gore recently.
The 16-year-old beat New Zealand representative Keri Low in the quarterfinals of the South Island Open 8-ball competition singles 5-2, on her way to claiming the title.
She beat Chantelle Gray 5-3 in the semifinals and Timaru’s Maxine Soal in the final 6-0. Burnett had played Low before and never won.
“I was surprised to win 5-2, because she is a top player.
“She put up a hard fight and I had to think really hard about every one of my shots; much like I did in the final against Maxine Soal.”
Burnett has been playing pool since she was about 10, when her father started coaching her.
“The first tournament I played was in Gore when I was 12 and I only managed to win one frame.
“I like that it is something I am able to do with my family and friends.
“Two of my siblings, James and Julia play, as well as my dad and sometimes mum.
“The social aspect of it is really amazing and because of it I have friends all over the country.”
Her next big competition is the national women’s 8-ball next month.
Two Timaru players, Glenn Spiers and Danny Ryan, won the men’s pairs at the South Island 8-ball competition.