Corteza Wins Hard Times Mezz Open
Hard Times Mezz 10-Ball Open / Bellflower, CA
Lee Van Corteza took first place at the First Annual Hard Times Mezz 10-Ball Open, defeating “Rocket” Rodney Morris in the finals. The 76-player field gathered at Hard Times Billiards in Bellflower, CA, May 7-9 for the $5,000-added event, sponsored by Mezz Cues.
Going into Sunday’s matches, Corteza was one of the final four undefeated players, but his first meeting with Morris changed that. The two players seesawed to a hill-hill score, with Morris moving on to the hot seat match. His opponent there was “Mad Max” Eberle, who had just defeated hometown favorite Oscar Dominguez 9-7. Morris defeated Eberle handily 9-5 and wait in the hot seat for a finals opponent.
On the one-loss side, Warren Kiamco of the Philippines challenged Thorsten “Hitman” Hohmann and advanced 9-6 to meet fellow countryman Corteza, just over from the right side of the chart. This was a close battle, but Corteza eked out a 9-7 victory to send Kiamco home in fifth place. After Roberto Gomez eliminated Rafael Martinez 9-2, he went on to face Dominguez. In another tight match, it was Dominguez who advanced to the quarterfinal match 9-7.View the Inaugural Hard Times Mezz Open tournament brackets
Corteza was in full stride by now and was able to best Dominguez 9-5 and move on to the semifinals against Eberle. The L.A. resident made a few errors at the beginning of the match and they cost him, as Corteza used them against Eberle to take the match 9-7. The single race-to-11 finals were a rematch, as Morris had been responsible for Corteza’s sole loss. Corteza was not about to see that happen again, and he won the final match with a decisive 11-7 score.
Visit InsidePOOL for the latest news in the sport of billiards and pool.