Bustamante Busts Appleton
U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships / Chesapeake, VA
The winners’-bracket matches kicked off the evening session of the 33rd Annual U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships, leaving 16 players undefeated to return Thursday evening.
Recently crowned 10-ball champion Darren “Dynamite” Appleton was sent west by crowd favorite Francisco Bustamante after their winners’-bracket match. Appleton took the first two racks but lost a safety battle in the third game, giving Bustamante the momentum to forge ahead 5-2. Put to the test, Appleton tied up the score at 5 apiece. They traded the next few racks to make it 7-6 in Bustamante’s favor, and then “Django” pocketed the 2-9 combo. A miss by Appleton on an easy 1 ball in the next rack made it 9-6 Bustamante. Rattled, Appleton did not win another game, and Bustamante won 11-6.
A slow start did not bode well for Shannon Daulton in his match against Filipino phenom Lee Van Corteza. In the first rack Daulton missed hitting a very tough 9 ball by a hair, and from there it was a slow grind, with no player having more than a two-rack lead. Finally the score reached 10-9 in Corteza’s favor after he played a 2-9 combo to reach the hill, and Corteza swept the last rack as well to win the match.
A strong opening bid of 5-0 for Josh Lewis led to surprising results in his match against the 22-year-old Oscar Dominguez. Dominguez took advantage of Lewis’ empty breaks to bring the score to 6-3 and then knot the score at 8-all. Finally it seesawed to double-hill, at which point Lewis missed the 1 ball, which was hanging in the corner. Dominguez had an easy run through the 7 ball but was left with a tricky shot on the 8, but he hit it perfectly and won the match 11-10.
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Former U.S. Open champion Jeremy “Double J” Jones was sent to the left side after his match against Sam Monday. Down throughout the match, at 9-7, Jones snookered himself on the 3 ball to hand that game to Monday, who then broke and ran out the final rack, winning 11-7.
Virginia State champion Eric Moore played in the one-loss side Wednesday against Florida’s Hunter Lombardo and came out ahead. Moore suffered a second-round loss to Larry Nevel 11-3 and has been making a comeback from the west side, defeating Rick Hamlin 11-2. His match against Lombardo was one-sided—Moore had a 10-1 lead before Lombardo put three more racks under his belt. At 10-4, Lombardo missed a thin cut on the 2 ball, and Moore cleared for the win.
K F Cues Open and Amateur 9-Ball Tours will be having two events this weekend at Stroker’s Billiards in Palm Harbor, FL. For more information, please contact 727-786-6683.
The Tiger Tour is also having an event this weekend. Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA, is hosting their $2,500-added tour stop. For information, please call 804-794-8787.
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