Giant Slayers Take Over at the U.S. Open
US Open 9-Ball Championships / Chesapeake, VA
by Lea Andrews
Day three of the 34th Annual U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships was the final day for some of the field of 216, while others, some of whom are responsible for the heavy hitters on the west side of the bracket, continue their quest for the title on the east. The event, which features a grand prize of $40,000, runs October 18-24 at the Chesapeake Conference Center in Chesapeake, VA.
One such giant slayer is British player Scott Higgins, who sent fellow Brit Raj Hundal to the left side 11-7 in the second round and followed it up with a hill-hill win over Filipino Warren Kiamco in the third. Higgins, who played in the Open last year but didn’t fare very well, has since improved and is currently ranked 16th on the Euro Tour. In a seesaw match against Kiamco, he found himself down 3-1, then up 6-3 and down 9-6, 9-8, and 10-8. Kiamco’s dry break in rack 19 left Higgins out, and Higgins’ break and run in rack 20 put the score at hill-hill. He played safe on the 2 ball, and Kiamco’s masse missed its mark, giving Higgins ball in hand. “He left me a 2-9 combo but I didn’t even see the shot,” said Higgins. “I just got focused on trying to clear the table.” When he did finally see the shot, “I started laughing,” he said.
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Keith Bennett is also moving quickly along, having notched matching 11-9 wins over Oliver Ortmann and Charlie Williams to go up against Imran Majid in upcoming round four. Chris Bartram, who was responsible for sending defending champion Mika Immonen west 11-9 and David Alcaide west 11-6, will face Jason Klatt, who put Thorsten Hohmann on the left side 11-9.
Out of the running are CJ Wiley, who fell 11-8 to Tom D’Alfonso, and Bob Jewett, who fell 11-9 to Chris Futrell.
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