Hundal, Feijen and Foldes Score First Round World Pool Masters Wins

Niels Feijen
Hundal, Feijen and Foldes Score First Round World Pool Masters Wins

The 2006 World Pool Masters got off to a flying start with the first three Round 1 matches taking place in front of a full arena in Egmond and there was something of the good, the bad and the ugly to the afternoon's proceedings.

In the opener, England's Raj Hundal, defending the trophy he won so well last year, edged into the second round with an unconvincing 8-5 victory over Hiroshi Takenaka of Japan.

The final score was 8-5 but "The Hitman" will need to sharply improve his performance if he is to make further progress.

"If I ever play like that again, I quit!" he said after the match.

"It was hard to control the white ball out there and my confidence started to drop. If it was any other player out there, I'd be on my way home."

Both players missed balls galore on the tournament edition Brunswick Metro table and in the end it proved a battle for both players. It was Takenaka, however, who made more blunders and in the end that was the key to Hundal's victory.

In the second match of the session Dutchman Niels Feijen comfortably moved into the last eight as he secured an 8-3 victory against American Rodney Morris. The win sets up a quarter-final tie with Hundal on Saturday evening.

Morris, who reached the final of last year's event, said: "I felt good but with the alternate break format I couldn't come back when I went down a couple of games.

"You have to be one game away or ahead to feel comfortable. If you go a couple of games down then it's like a weight on you."

Feijen looked assured throughout with the high spot of his performance being a magnificent 2-9 carom in the second rack that left his opponent stunned.

The final match of the afternoon went right down to the wire as Holland's Nick van den Berg and Vilmos Foldes of Hungary put on a sterling display for the packed house at Egmond.

In the end it was Foldes who prevailed, 8-7, running out the final rack from the break to the disappointment of the Dutch crowd.

With the alternate break format, it was always going to be tight with both players in stroke and it was van den Berg who took the early lead. Foldes though made his intentions clear as he took the next three to establish a two rack cushion.

The 26 year-old van den Berg pulled it back to 3-3 and from there they shared the racks before Foldes pulled away to reach the hill at 7-5.

Van den Berg was not finished yet as he took the next following a mistake on the 1 ball from his opponent and then ran out the next from the break to put the match at hill-hill.

With the break though, the onus was on Foldes and he coolly ran out the final match to take it 8-7.

"I'm delighted to have won. It was a very tough game and either of us could have won it but in the end I kept it together to clear that last rack for victory," said Foldes afterwards.

Play continues with three more first round matches on Saturday afternoon.

Raj Hundal (England) 8 - 5 Hiroshi Takenaka (Japan)
Niels Feijen (Holland) 8 - 3 Rodney Morris (USA)
Vilmos Foldes (Hungary) 8 - 7 Nick van den Berg (Holland)