Holtz Take Scottish Opener

Scott Ross and Pat Holtz before the final

Scotland's IPT Professional Pat Holtz took top honours at Sunday's first tour stop on the 2006 Scottish American Pool Players Association (SAPPA) calendar, along with the $400 first prize, by beating Scott Ross by 9 racks to 3 in the final at Riley's in Kirkintilloch. Pat, along with number 1 ranked Michael Valentine had flown back from the first EuroTour event of the season in Prague to take part in the event and Pat was a little slow in getting to work on his opponents, with young Morgan McInnes taking him to a deciding rack in the first round. After that, the Holtz steamroller got back into full operation with a series of impressive scorelines to win the tournament undefeated. One of the best matches of the day was Holtz's semi final clash with Ross McInnes. Ross was looking good at 5-1 up, and seemed to be cruising to an easy victory, but Pat managed to find another gear from somewhere and capitalised on a couple of uncharacteristic McInnes mistakes to take the match 9 racks to 5.

It was great to see a number of SAPPA debutants among the 55 players that came to Riley's in Kirkintilloch, but the story of the day came from Edinburgh's number 27 ranked Ian Skirving who put the number one and number 3 ranked players, Michael Valentine and Stevie Capaldi, out of the tournament from the One Loss Bracket with back-to-back 5-2 and 5-3 scorelines to qualify for the Single Elimination last 16. His progress in the tournament, however, was halted by the eventual runner-up, Scott Ross, who was playing some brilliant pool at that time. Scott's semi final, against Jimmy Pollock, ended up being a hill-hill heartbreaker for Jimmy as he hung the final 9-ball in the jaws of the pocket. Sadly for Scott, his luck was to run out there as a series of mistakes and unlucky rolls ended up costing him in the final. Scott did, however, get $200 for his efforts during the day.

The next event on the SAPPA calendar is the second Tour Stop at Riley's, Stirling on Sunday 12 February. Details are available from www.scottish9ball.com