Strickland Pulls off Huge Comeback
Super Billiards Expo / King of Prussia, PA
Some exciting matches went off at the Diamond Open 10-Ball Professional Players Championship Friday. The winners’ side was whittled down to eight players, and in a feature match-up, Corey “The Prince of Pool” Deuel went up against Charlie Williams. The match seesawed to a double-hill contest with Deuel breaking. He came up empty, but Williams played safe on the 1 ball. Deuel played a two-rail kick and contacted the 1 ball but left a combo. Williams was on his way to victory but rattled the 6 ball in the corner pocket, and Deuel was easily able to clear the table to win 9-8.
But the most talked-about match was surely the one on the one-loss side between defending champion John Schmidt and Earl Strickland. Schmidt came out of the gate like a bolt, quickly gaining a 6-1 lead. At that point, Strickland caught fire. He not only caught Schmidt at 6, he passed him to reach the hill at 8-6. Schmidt won the next rack to postpone his fate, but it was all Strickland in the next as he dished up to win 9-7.
View the Diamond Open 10-Ball Professional Players Championship tournament bracketsMeeting Deuel in the next round will be Dennis Hatch, who won 9-5 over Hunter Lombardo earlier. Thorsten Hohmann, who won over Shaun Wilkie 9-7, will play Al Lapena, who squeaked past Mike Dechaine in a hill-hill nail-biter. Shane Van Boening edged past Mike Davis 9-7 and will next play Shawn Putnam, who sent James Barak west 9-6. And Johnny Archer, who won his match against Ronnie Wiseman, will play Johnathan Pinegar.
Sixteen players remain on the west side of the chart, including Strickland, Chris Bartram, Mike Davis, Marlon Manalo, and Rodney Morris. Visit InsidePOOL for the latest news in the sport of billiards and pool.