Wilkie Wrests Hot Seat From Van Boening
By InsidePOOL Staff
In the last match of the evening at the Diamond Open 9-Ball Professional Players Championship, Shaun “Get Some” Wilkie bested Player of the Year Shane Van Boening in a double-hill thriller that kept the crowd glued to their seats. This win puts Wilkie firmly in the hot seat, where he will wait for his opponent to come through the one-loss side.
The elimination rounds saw the hatchet come down on all but two players, who will return Sunday morning to play in the quarterfinals. “Rocket” Rodney Morris started off his day by ousting Luc Salvas, then Mike Dechaine, then Louis Ulrich. A lengthy 10-8 battle with former champ Shawn Putnam saw the Hawaiian move on to a slightly quicker match against Tony Crosby, whom he defeated 10-4.
Sunday Morris will meet Mika “Iceman” Immonen in the quarterfinals. After being dealt his first loss by Van Boening hill-hill, Immonen tore through the one-loss side, eliminating John Morra, Adam Smith, and then Tony Robles.
In the winners’ side early evening rounds, Van Boening matched up with Crosby, while Wilkie played Robles. Van Boening took hold of the lead early on and didn’t relinquish it. Up 9-4, Van Boening allowed Crosby only two more racks before sending him to the west side. The match between Wilkie and Robles was much closer. The score was 7-all when Wilkie caught fire, winning the next three racks in a row to move on to the hot seat match.
There was ever only a two-game difference in the score of the hot seat match, and though Van Boening held the lead throughout, Wilkie kept his composure and didn’t rattle. Both players exhibited excellent defensive play. With the score at 8 apiece, Van Boening broke and ran out to reach the hill, but he fouled in the next rack, and Wilkie was able to make it a double-hill match. Van Boening broke the last rack but fouled on his first shot. With ball in hand, Wilkie dished up for the 10-9 win.
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