Blowouts and Battles on Day Two of the US Open
U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships / Chesapeake, VA
by Lea Andrews
With second round winners’ side matches nearing completion, day two of the 34th annual US Open 9-Ball Championships, held October 18-24 at the Chesapeake Conference Center in Chesapeake, VA, saw its fair share of both hill-hill battles and lopsided blowouts. As a result, several of the well-known names that saturate the 216-man field are now on the left side of the bracket, while others continue their trek towards the far right.
Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant is one of the fortunate ones who sunk the 21st 9 ball of the match, as he moved past Jonathan “Hennessee” Pinegar 11-10. Topping the list of the less fortunate was Nick Varner, who tied it up at 10 with Michael Badstuebner after being down 9-2. Demetrius Jelatis made it by Marcus Chamat 11-10 to face Eric Moore, who put Mike Davis on the other side 11-8. Having gotten by Edmundo Ambrose 11-10, Ryan “The Genie Man” McCreesh will face reigning 10-ball world champion Darren Appleton, who sent Jordanian champ Zaid Thweib west 11-4.
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Mike Wong was another fortunate, getting past Mac Harrell 11-10, while Qi Liu edged out Matt Krah 11-10 to face Mike Dechaine, who was one of the victors by blowout, having sent Steve Jenkins to the one-loss side 11-1. Rodney Morris allowed his opponent, Greg McAndrews, just one game as well, as did Shane Van Boening against Marvin Davis, and Donnie Mills permitted Steve Sones just two games to earn the right to face 1992 U.S. Open champion Tommy Kennedy, who got past Jimmy Wetch 11-5. Kim Davenport, who breezed by Joe Keith 11-3, will face Shawn “Big Bubba” Putnam, who won 11-7 over Cliff Joyner.
Two-time runner-up Ronnie Alcano has joined the west side after running into Japanese player Tomoo Takano, who held him to six games. Meanwhile, five-time winner Earl Strickland displayed his true run-out colors by keeping Erik Hjorliefson away from the table after rack 10, closing out the match with a six-pack to advance 11-6.
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