Caudron Comes From Behind To Defend Title

Frederic Caudron

Frédéric Caudron survives five match points to capture his second consecutive title at the Sang Lee International Open.

Though his clinching match against Semih Sayginer started slowly—both player averaging only slightly above 1.0 through the first dozen innings—by the 20th inning they were scoring at a furious pace, with each finishing the 40 point match with averages above 1.4. Caudron came into this—his eighth—match as the sole undefeated player of the ten-man final round robin. Semih, with two losses, needed a win to save his hopes of a first place finish.

Semih, sensing the urgency, picked up the pace with a run of eight in the 13th inning to take a 23-13 lead. By the 19th inning, after running a five and a two in consecutive innings, extended his lead over Caudron to 16 points, making the score 31-15. Then Caudron, under tremendous pressure, started his comeback.

Had Caudron lost this match, he would have to face a red hot Daniel Sanchez in a do-or-die match for championship. Wanting instead to secure the top prize in this match, he shifting gears in the 20th inning and scored 14 points in this and the following three innings to close the gap to 36-29. But Semih, in his half of the 23rd, and already on a run of three, had match point. Unfortunately the out shot Semih faced was extremely difficult and required a full masse. With the crowd anticipating Semih to end the match in dramatic fashion—for they all have seen the "Magic Man" make wonderful masse shots before—it was not his day as he caught the wrong rail, but it was oh so close.

Caudron then seized the opportunity, running a five at his next turn at the table, before leaving Semih a tough position on his second match point. Semih missed that shot, and another three match points, allowing Caudron to run five and out to win the championship 40-39 in 28 innings.

The Sang Lee International Open is the most prestigious 3-Cushion tournament in the United States. The best players from around the globe assemble each year at Carom Cafe in New York City to play world-class billiards in honor of Sang Lee's memory.