Kang goes undefeated to win first Open/Pro Predator stop
Skip Maloney - AzB Staff
May 23, 2016
May 23, 2016
Jorge Rodriguez, Tony Robles and Lee Kang
Runner-up three times in 2015, the last time (November) against Earl Strickland, Lee Kang chalked up his first win on the Predator Tour's Open/Pro event on the weekend of May 21-22. Kang went undefeated in the $500-added event that drew 14 entrants to Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY.
His finals opponent on this recent event was Tour Director Tony Robles, whom he defeated twice to claim the title. The final four on the winners' side of the bracket became the event's top four finishers. Robles had sent Jorge Rodriguez to the loss side 7-2 in one winners' side semifinal, as Kang was busy sending Frankie Hernandez over in a double hill fight in the other. Kang claimed his first win over Robles 7-3 and waited in the hot seat for his return.
On the loss side, Rodriguez and Hernandez picked up Zion Zvi and Del Sim, respectively. Zvi had eliminated Ron Mason 7-2 and Holden Chin 7-4 to draw Rodriguez. Sim had survived two straight double hill matches against Mike Wong and Dave Schlemperis to pick up Hernandez.
Rodriguez and Hernandez advanced to the quarterfinals, both 7-4 against Zvi and Sim. In what was the event's first money round, Rodriguez defeated Hernandez 7-4 to face Robles in the semifinals. A double hill fight there eventually advanced Robles to a re-match against Kang in the finals.
The finals were all Kang. He opened up with seven in a row, establishing a lead that was two shy of a shutout. Robles spoiled that shutout bid with a single win in the eighth game, and received appreciative, though ironic applause for preventing that shutout. Kang closed it out with two wins to claim the event title.
"He was playing like a monster," said Robles afterwards. "It was the best pool I'd ever seen him play."
Robles thanked the ownership and staff at Raxx Billiards, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, National Amateur Pool League, Ozone Billiards, Delta-13 racks, Gotham City Technologies, PoolOnTheNet.com, The DeVito Team, Billiards Press, AZ Billiards, Billiards Digest, and Pool & Billiard Magazine. He also thanked William Finnegan, Mandy Wu, and Irene Kim for their assistance with the tournament, as well as his wife, Gail Robles.