Oct. 27, 2015
Day two at the U.S. Open saw the continuance of the Karen Corr story as she bested James Blackburn 11-1. This means her scoring record thus far, after two matches, is 22-5. The audience will be thick today for her match against Jayson Shaw. Certainly, Shaw is one of the greatest players of our day, but so is Ko Pin-Yi, and we all know what happened there. Whatever happens now, Corr has increased her legion of fans to extraordinary levels.
But we cannot focus on Ms. Corr alone. The worlds greatest players are all here and all of them have their eyes firmly set on the prize. Those who have yet to find defeat include the aforementioned Jayson Shaw and Carlo Biado who will find himself against Thorsten Hohmann today. In fact, if you look at the chart you will find many matchups for Tuesday that promise mouth-watering action.
Our Hall of Fame inductee for this year, Oliver Ortmann, will be playing Jung-Lin Chang while former World 9-Ball champ Daryl Peach plays Europe's number one player, Albin Ouschan. Dennis Grabe is pitted against Haitao Liu and Mika Immonen finds himself playing Canada's Martin Daigle. Karl Boyes will take on Skyler Woodward in a match with Mosconi Cup implications as Warren Kiamco faces Jason Klatt.
Ralf Souquet had a fine showing last night as he dominated Johnny Archer 11-1 but today must face Greek powerhouse Nikos Ekonomopoulos. Mosconi Cup nominee Mike Dechaine takes on John Morra while former Mosconi Cup teammates Shane Van Boening and Justin Bergman will fight in a highly anticipated match as many are touting the ever-rising skills of Justin Bergman. Another match of Cup veterans will find Nick Van Den Berg doing battle with Rodney Morris and Darren Appleton plays Ruslan Chinakov of Russia.
All in all, the winners side of the charts will find high drama throughout as those on the one-loss side fight for survival. The greats on that side of the chart include the likes of Tony Drago, Ko Pin-Yi, Jeremy Sossei, European Mosconi Cup Captain Marcus Chamat, Alex Pagulayan, Oscar Dominguez, Johnny Archer, Shannon Daulton, Niels Feijen, Earl Strickland and Brandon Shuff.
As for the "controversy" concerning the resignation of Jay Helfert as TD, both Helfert and Behrman found themselves between a rock and a hard place and both did what they felt they had to do. Helfert felt he could not alter the chart after the players meeting as that is the long custom in tournaments and Behrman felt compelled to honor the commitment he had made to his two-time past champion Allen Hopkins. Behrman found a player who was happy to vacate his spot to honor Hopkins and the event. But that is all a sideshow to the action on the tables and everyone is now settled in to concentrate on the play and ignore the disagreement between the owner of the event and his original Tournament Director. Scott Smith has taken over those duties and while the presence of Mr. Helfert will be missed the show will still go on. After all, when the quarterback is injured you do not stop the game, you put in another quarterback. So let's not let a business disagreement distract us from what is really important at the Open, the play upon the tables.
This is the most powerful field this reporter has ever seen at an Open and that is the factor that makes all else pale. This event has huge implications on many careers and that will be the focus of the week.