Dynamic Billard St Johann Open – Soufi Is Champ In Austria

Mohamad Soufi

MOHAMMED SOUFI, THE Germany-based Syrian, claimed his second DYNAMIC BILLARD Euro Tour title as he got the better of Tobias Bongers by 9-6 to take the Dynamic Billard St Pongau Open. Bongers had seemed to have done the hard part earlier in the day as he ended Joshua Filler’s long and successful Euro Tour streak and then ousted Mieszko Fortunski from the tournament.

However, Soufi’s speedy all-out aggression and devil-may-care play won the day for him as he entertained a sizeable crowd in the arena. Having recently acquired new playing equipment, Soufi seemed to have adapted to it in no time and what he occasionally lacked in positional play, he more than made up for with unerring pocketing.

Commented Soufi, “I’m feeling very good about this event. This is the second time for me but on the Thursday before the tournament started, I had a call from my family that my father was taken to hospital. Today he got out and I promised him I will give my best for him and I’m happy to have won this tournament for my father.

“Before the match he was at home and said he would watch the game. I haven’t seen my family for 11 years so it was good to win for them.”

The Syrian won the lag and saw the one ball drop and he completed an excellent runout to take the opener. Bongers, who struggled a little in semi-final with his break, made no mistakes in the second game as three balls dropped. A cut on the 2-ball, moving three rails for the 3, enabled a runout to level things.

A 3/9 combination from Soufi took him back into the lead and they both had visits in the fourth game before Soufi asserted himself after Bongers safety escape left a little too much of the 1-ball showing. He wrapped up the rack, albeit it with a touch of good fortune to take a 3-1 lead.

The Syrian shooter found himself blocked on the 1-ball after his break and elected to push out, leaving the edge of the one available. They both went back-and-forth on the 1-ball before finally. Soufi scratched into the centre pocket. Bongers was presented with a fairly messy table and couldn’t make precise position on the 2-ball.

Following a well-placed snooker, Soufi again fouled, making the jump, as the white failed to clear the intervening 8-ball and with ball-in-hand once again, Bongers cleared in what was a must-win rack for him.

An illegal break from the German left the cueball in a horrible spot, squeezed between the 4 and 7. Soufi put him back in and he played a push and again, Soufi sent him back to the table. His jump shot made good connection with the 1-ball but left it on for Soufi. The layout was extremely tough but Soufi was magnificent in his clearance to restore his two-rack advantage.

Despite seeing edge of the 1-ball, Soufi pushed out and Bongers gave it back. Ultimately, Bongers fouled with a table length one-rail escape and Soufi set about the table in his aggressive style. It became his undoing though, as he missed on the 4-ball and left it on. Bongers missed though, trying to bank the 7-ball into the centre pocket which effectively handed the rack back to Soufi for a 5-2 lead.

Bongers made no mistakes in the next, running out from the break to reduce the deficit to two racks but another fast rack from Soufi took him into a 6-3 lead with Bongers now having it all to do. There were two balls on the break for Bongers as well as a good cue ball but the rack became a little messy. In the end, Bongers seemed to have done all the hard work, but a miss on the 8-ball unravelled it and Soufi stepped up to make it 7-3.

Three balls on the break but with no shot on the lowest ball and Soufi decided to push out. This left Bongers with a couple of options and he cut the 2-ball into the top right pocket, leaving perfect shape on the 3-ball. From there, he ran out to claw one back.

The German #24-ranked player took the next to keep his chances up but could ill afford any mistakes with Soufi two away from victory. Soufi gave himself a slight chance off his next break with two balls down. Riding his luck, he took the 2-ball on, made it and enjoyed some luck gaining position on the 3-ball. From there, he dished up to reach the hill at 8-5.

Bongers wasn’t done just yet as he ran out from the break to make it 8-6 but it was now Soufi’s to lose. He made no mistakes though as he got himself over the line with an easy 3/9 combination.

Soufi added, “Tobias is my friend and I’ve known him for five or six years we play in the same teams together. He’s been playing very well – his last tournament in the UK Open he finished eighth and he beat some great players here. He’s a good guy and starting to really play well.”

The Predator Euro Tour Women’s St. Johann Im Pongau Open is well underway, having played down to the final 16 from a starting line-up of 48 players. They will return on Sunday morning at 10.00 to play to a finish. The final is scheduled for 16.00.  All matches are a race-to-seven with alternate break.

For viewers at home, Tables 1 & 2 will be streamed throughout on YouTube. Table 1 will be on the Kozoom channel, while Table 2 will be available throughout on the EPBF platform. All other tables can be viewed on the Kozoom.com website, where there are a variety of subscription options.

Table 1 link = https://www.youtube.com/@KozoomTV/streams
Table 2 link = https://www.youtube.com/@theepbf/streams
Tables 1-20 = https://home.kozoom.com/en/all-cue-sports

Results, live scoring, and draw are available at www.epbf.com


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