Drago Takes BPPPA Guildford Open

Tony Drago

Current World Pool Masters champion Tony Drago claimed victory and the £1000 first prize at the Guildford Open on Sunday 4th July 2004 at Rileys Guildford, beating Lee Chenman 11-4 in the final. Tony was faced with the daunting task of overcoming a fired-up Chenman, who had battled his way through some very high quality players to earn his first-ever final appearance in a ranking event. Lee, who had overcome Mikey Kay, Stewart Colclough, Paul Medati and Martinho Correia leading up to the final, had difficulty finding his rhythm against Drago who was firing balls in at his customary 'blink-and-you'll-miss-it' pace.

Drago had cruised through the first day's double elimination stage undefeated, but once into the straight knock-out on the second day did not have an easy run to the final. His first two games on Sunday were against Jay Trivedi and David Walsh, both top 5 players, and he had to come back from a 5-1 deficit against Mike Berry in the semi-final. The 9-7 result meant Berry got two racks closer to beating Drago than anyone else had. However, Drago looked focused and ready to go against Chenman, reeling off rack after effortless rack.

He had obviously been putting in a great deal of work on his break as he was getting that wonderful 'pop' that is the trademark of so many world class players. 'The Tornado' this week flies to Taipei for the World Pool Championships, where he will be hoping to get even further than the semi-final stage, which he achieved last year, and on the form he showed this weekend, he looks to have every chance.

Finishing 3rd - 4th were Mike Berry and Martinho Correia. Martinho had spectators reaching for the oxygen and covering their eyes throughout Sunday as he battled through a series of thrilling matches that all seemed to end on the hill! He won 9 - 8 against Mark Stephenson and Wayne Lloyd, then went down 9 - 8 to Lee Chenman after scratching on the 7. Martinho may be the most consistent player in the country right now having had one quarter final, two semi finals, and one final in the last four events he has entered.

Quarter-final finishers were Daryl Peach, Mike Rogers, Wayne Lloyd and Paul Medati. The rest of the last 16 were John Wims, Norman Kay, David Walsh, Gareth Esprit, Mark Stephenson, Dean Mazirel, Suk Gohil and Stewart Colclough. For the updated ranking list, visit the BPPPA website at http://www.bpppa.com.