Rocket Streaks to Incredible Comeback
U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships / Chesapeake, VA
Day one at the U.S. Open is in the books, with almost all of the 238-player field having played one match.
“Rocket” Rodney Morris got a surprise in Danny Harriman, the last featured match of the evening. Though Harriman has been off the circuit for some time, he’s apparently been keeping in shape, for he was up 10-5 on the Hawaiian before he knew it. Drawing deep, Morris drew within a rack, and then an early combo on the 9 ball made it a hill-hill nail-biter. Morris broke but scratched, but Harriman was forced to play safe on the 2 ball. Morris hit the 2 and moved the 7 next to the 8 ball. Harriman ran out to the 6 ball, using it as a break-out shot but had no shot on the 7 ball. Left with a bank shot, Morris made it perfectly and cleared the rest of the balls to win 11-10.
In the match between CJ Wiley and Tony Robles, a last-minute addition to the schedule, Robles started off strong with a 3-1 lead only to watch as Wiley chipped away at it. Wiley managed to knot the score at 5 apiece and then took the lead for the first time 6-5. Not to be outdone, Robles took the next rack after an uncharacteristic error by Wiley and then ran the next five racks in a row for the 11-6 win.
View the 2008 U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship tournament brackets (updated after each round)
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In other highlights, defending champion Shane Van Boening held his own against Zaid Thweib, who kept fairly even with him until Van Boening swept past to win 11-8. Chris Melling of the UK came back from a 9-1 deficit to defeat Jonen Alba 11-9 after being given one chance, with fellow countryman Raj Hundal coming through the winner of a double-hill match against Danny Petralba. Shannon Daulton managed to best David Grossman 11-8 by “ducking.” Former U.S. Open champ Gabe Owen trounced Ryan McCreesh 11-3, with another former champ, Corey Deuel, dealing an 11-1 loss to Claude Fuller.
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