Appleton Defends One Title, Looks to Another
U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships / Virginia Beach, VA
Thirty-two players remain on the undefeated side of the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships bracket, and even more are fighting to remain alive on the one-loss side.
Fresh off defending his International Challenge of Champions title Tuesday, Darren Appleton is looking to also defend his consecutive U.S. Open titles this week. Upon returning from the ICOC, “Dynamite” defeated Alex Olinger and will play Efren Reyes, who just bested Thorsten Hohmann 11-9, in the next round. Appleton and Reyes played a challenge match late last week, with the Brit winning 15-12.
Also having an amazing year, Dennis Orcollo remains untouched, having won his third-round match over Mark Gray of the U.K. 11-7. Orcollo’s next opponent will be “Iron Mike” Davis, who drubbed Louis Ulrich 11-3 earlier. Fellow Brit Karl Boyes joins Gray on the west side after a close 11-9 match with former U.S. Open champ Tommy Kennedy.
In the Filipino showdown between former world 9-ball champion Alex Pagulayan, who won this event in 2005, and Santos Sambajon Jr., it was Pagulayan who pulled off the win 11-9. Another former world 9-ball champ, Daryl Peach, faces him in the next round after his third-round win over Ralph Ekert 11-5.
Johnny Archer triumphed over Mario Morra 11-6 and next plays Virginia’s Brandon Shuff, who sent Shaun Wilkie to the west side 11-4. After an 11-3 win over Israel Rota, John Morra will advance to play Austria’s Albin Ouschan, who dealt last year’s runner-up, Shawn Putnam, his first loss 11-4.
Finland’s Mika Immonen, who was won the U.S. Open in 2008 and 2009, has come off an 11-8 victory over Francisco Bustamante and now faces Ronnie Alcano in the next round. Alcano eked out a hill-hill win over David Alcaide of Spain in the third round.
On the west side, “Rocket” Rodney Morris was eliminated. After a first-round bye he was bested by 18-year-old Mario He of Austria, and in the next round Rod Rentz ousted him 11-8. In another surprise result, Germany’s Oliver Ortmann was eliminated by Erik Hjorliefson 11-6. And though Stevie Moore aced his match against Sheri Bruner, he fell to Jason Richko 11-6 in the following round.
The 2002 U.S. Open champion, Ralf Souquet, stayed alive by virtue of an 11-9 win over Danny Green. Warren Kiamco whitewashed Jo Garcia and then sent Mark Showalter home with an 11-6 win. His next opponent will be Bustamante. Jesse Engel fought his way through Randy Mooren 11-4 and then Rob Pole 11-5 to face off with Alcaide in the next round.
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