Europe Fields Top Players in Phil Open

Mika Immonen

Led by two reigning world champions and its top female players, Europe is fielding its very best in the Philippine Open Pool Championship at the SM Megamall on May 26-31, 2009.

World 8-ball champion Ralf Souquet of Germany and world 10-ball champion Darren Appleton of Great Britain banner the contingent of 14 players seeking top honors in the 10-ball tournament.

The group also includes two other top 10 players in the WPA men's rankings: Mika Immonen of Finland, 2008 US Open champion and ranked No. 4 in the world, and Marcus Chamat of Sweden, rated No. 9. Immonen is seen by many as the hottest player in the international scene today with his recent victories in the US and Japan.

On the women's front, Karen Corr of Ireland, Jasmin Ouschan of Austria and Kelly Fisher of Great Britain, top contenders in the women's tour, will test their mettle against the top male players in the world.

“With its all-star cast, Europe will strive to continue its recent domination of the WPA world championships and major tournaments,” says tournament coordinator Sol Gueco. “But they will be challenged by plenty of  players from Asia and America in the Philippine Open.”

Another prominent player in the European contingent is former world champion Thorsten Hohmann of Germany. He won the WPA world 9-ball championship in 2003 and the IPT North American 8-ball championship in 2006.

Three of the European players took their spots by virtue of landing in the top 8 in the WPA rankings.  The rest were selected by the European Pocket Billiards Federation (EPBF) on the basis of their rankings in the continental tour.

Pool experts attribute the rise to the top of European players to the high number of events in the European circuit. Although the prizes are relatively modest, the constant competition has helped raise the level of play and competitiveness of players.

The full list of European players follows:

Male Players
Ralf Souquet (Germany)
Darren Appleton (Great Britain)
Mika Immonen (Finland)
Marcus Chamat (Sweden)
Fabio Petroni (Italy)
Mateusz Sniegocki (Poland)
Zoran Zvilar (Serbia)
Ruslan Chinahov (Russia)
Radoslaw Babica (Poland)
Jonni Fulcher (Great Britain)
Martin Kempter (Austria)
Thorsten Hohmann (Germany)
Female Players:
Jasmin Ouschan (Austria)
Kelly Fisher (Great Britain)
Karen Corr (Ireland)