Final Four to Return to U.S. Open Billiards Championships
U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships / Chesapeake, VA
After starting with 238 of the best players in the world, the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships has whittled down to the final 4. Mika “Iceman” Immonen will play Ronnie Alcano for the hot seat, while in the one-loss side,
In the 7 p.m. rounds, Johnny Archer matched up with Mika Immonen, with “Iceman” taking the quick 5-0 lead. Countering, Archer took the next and then broke and ran out the following. Despite questioning the rack, Immonen managed to reach an 8-4 lead before Archer began climbing back, winning three out of the next four. Archer scratched on the break, and Immonen ran out for the hill. The Finn broke dry, but Archer hung the 3 ball in the pocket, and Immonen cleared up to win 11-7.
“Rocket” Rodney Morris matched up with Ronnie Alcano in the other winners’-bracket match, which was riddled with uncharacteristic errors. The score remained even until it reached 7-6 Morris, at which point Alcano took charge after Morris missed a key 8 ball, bringing the score to 9-7 in his favor. A costly miss on the 5 by Morris gave Alcano the hill, and the when Morris scratched on the 3 in the final rack, Alcano cleared up to win 11-7.
In the elimination matches, Corey Deuel dealt Thorsten Hohmann a swift death blow. From 2-all, Deuel went up 6-2 in no time, only allowing Hohmann one more rack before reaching the hill. In the last rack, Hohmann had a chance after Deuel missed the 8 ball, but Hohmann missed it as well, and Deuel dropped the last two balls to win 11-3.
The all-Filipino match-up of Warren Kiamco and Lee Van Corteza went double-hill, with Kiamco advancing to the next round. Kiamco took a quick 6-2 lead before Alcano began to forge a comeback, coming within two racks at 9-7. Kiamco broke and ran out to reach the hill, but a couple of errors on his part left the door open for Corteza, who knotted the score. Corteza was forced to jack up for the 3 ball but missed, and Kiamco methodically ran out the rest of the balls to win 11-10.
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In the 9 p.m. one-loss side matches, Morris then matched up with Kiamco, and though he held a strong 7-3 lead in the race to 11, the Hawaiian allowed Kiamco back in the match through a series of misses that saw the score knot at 8. The turning point of the match seemed to be in the following rack when Morris missed an easy 4 ball, giving Kiamco the game. However, Morris jumped over the 2 ball to hit the 1 in the next rack and caromed in the 9 ball to tie the score again. They traded the next two racks to bring it to hill-hill with Morris breaking, and Morris missed a critical bank shot on the 2 ball in the final rack. Kiamco cleared the balls to the 8 and, before shooting, screamed, “Yes!!” proceeding to pocket the last two to win 11-10.
The last match of the evening to finish was between Archer and Deuel. Archer held the lead throughout the match, with Deuel making uncharacteristic mistakes. At 6-1 Archer, Deuel began making a play, coming back to 8-6. Archer broke dry on the next rack, but Deuel missed the 7 ball, and Archer made it 9-6. However, another dry break from Archer led to Deuel grabbing another rack to draw within two. Archer reached the hill but came up empty yet again on the break, and through the dicey rack, Archer ended up hanging the 9 ball in the corner for Deuel to make it 10-8. In the last rack, Deuel ended up getting long on the 8 ball, overcutting it and scratching for Archer to win 11-8.
In other news, Robb Saez’s cues have gone missing. They were last seen at Q-Master Billiards in the tournament room. The case was made by Dan Whitten and is beige and black with the words “Robbin Hood” embroidered on it. The playing cue is an Andy Gilbert, and there are two break cues: a Predator and a Scorpion. If anyone has any information, please contact Q-Master Billiards at 757-499-8900.
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