Corteza Captures Inaugural U.S. Open 10-Ball

The final day of the U.S Open 10 Ball Championships at the Riviera in Las Vegas was filled with tense and exciting matches to culminate an already intense tournament.

The battle for fourth place pitted Francisco Bustamante against Shane Van Boening. Both players kept the match tight until a safety battle in the 15th game gave Shane ball in hand and an 8-7 lead. Thanks in part to his powerful break in the next game in which Van Boening pocketed 4 balls on the break, this set was ended with a break and run sending Bustamante home with 4th place.

After losing the hotseat to Li-Wen Lo, Lee Van Corteza would now face Van Boening for the opportunity to exact his revenge in the finals. Once again, both players would keep the match close until a dry break by Corteza at 5-5 let Shane string together 3 racks to get himself on the hill. Lee Van wasn’t done with this match quite yet and fought back to tie the match and force one final rack for the chance to play against Li-Wen Lo. After a few uncharacteristic misses from both players, Lee Van came away with the win and handing Shane Van Boening his final loss and putting him in 3rd place.

Corteza bested both Van Boening and Li-Wen on the final day to capture the inaugural US Open 10-Ball Championship.

Corteza bested both Van Boening and Li-Wen on the final day to capture the inaugural US Open 10-Ball Championship.

The final match of the tournament started out quite cautiously as both players seemed to be taking their time to make their decisions. After an hour and a half and the match score only at 7-3 Corteza, both players were warned that a shot clock may be implemented if play didn’t begin to progress quicker. Lo, who seemed to be the more methodical of the two and the one thought to be the one who would be most affected by this warning, sped up his play and quickly tied the score back up to 7-7. Corteza seemed to answer back distancing himself from Lo and after a few racks the it seemed to be almost in the books with Corteza up 12-10 in the single race to 13 finals. However, yet again, uncharacteristic misses and great position play let Li-Wen Lo tie up the match and give everyone an exciting hill-hill game. After a miss by Lo on the one ball in the 25th rack, Lee Van seemed on his way to running out the rack until an unfortunate roll from the 2 to the 3 left Corteza with no choice but to play a safety and let Lo back to the table with a jump shot. Li-Wen Lo proceeds to make a good hit but leaves Lee Van a long shot on the 3 which he makes and sets up a beautiful run out for the final game of this tournament. This left Li-Wen Lo with a consolation prize of $12,500 and the second place spot for his hard work this tournament.

Along with the $20,000 prize money, Barry Behrman and Mark Griffin surprised Lee Van Corteza with the news that they would be working in conjunction with each other and would be rewarding Lee Van with paid entry into this year’s U.S. Open 9 Ball Championships.

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