Kung Captures First United States National Snooker Title

Jack Kung, the 2007 United States National Snooker Champion

California's Jack Kung has scored a surprise 5-3 victory over number one seed and former Champion George Lai, to claim the 2007 United States National Snooker Championship at the Embassy Billiards Club in San Gabriel, California.

Lai, from Las Vegas, went into the final dropping only one frame throughout the Championship, which justified his status as favorite to take his third national title. However, Kung, who lost in the last-16 of the Championship in 2006, had a slightly more difficult path to traverse to get to the final and he started nervously in the first frame which he should have captured, but a crucial mistake while clearing the table resulted in fouling on the final green and Lai took the opening frame.

Lai, who was defeated on a sensational final frame black ball in the semifinals last year, should have made it 2-0 after putting together second frame runs of 24 and 28, but missed a simple red ball to a corner pocket. Kung then stepped in with a 39 run clearance to pinch the frame and level the match at 1-1.

Kung then took the following two close frames to build-up a useful 3-1 advantage, and then he pocketed the fifth frame comprehensively to go on the verge of victory at 4-1 ahead.

Kung squandered a golden opportunity in frame six to win the Championship, when at just two points behind his opponent with the final six colored balls on the table, he missed a straightforward yellow ball and Lai coolly cleared the table to reduce his arrears to 4-2.

The pressure of securing the title would then start to mount on Kung as Lai won the seventh frame 79 points to 35, and now only had a one-frame deficit at 4-3 behind.

Frame eight was a very tense affair though it was Kung who adapted to the situation best and forged his way to a 24-point lead with just the final four colored balls remaining on the table. Lai required a snooker with just 22 points remaining, and he achieved that feat resulting in a wonderful opportunity to clear the table and secure a final frame shoot-out. However Lai was horrified to commit a foul himself, and Kung cleared the remaining colored balls to capture his first United States National Snooker Championship title.

The United States Snooker Association would again like to thank the Embassy Billiards Club for their help and support in staging this year's Championship, and for providing top quality Championship snooker facilities to play on.

Results from Last-16:

George Lai (Nevada) def. Sammy Chin (California) 3-0
Raymond Fung (New York) def. Chris Sheerin (Nevada) 3-1
Tom Kollins (Illinois) def. Simon Poole (Illinois) 3-0
Andrew Barlow (California) def. Christopher Szarek (Illinois) 3-1
Truman Wu (California) def. Sridhar Shrinivasan (Pennsylvania) 3-0
Stephen Wong (California) def. Henry Wong (New York) 3-1
Ajeya Prabhakar (California) def. Jeff Szafransky (California) 3-0
Jack Kung (California) def. Kevin Wong (New York) 3-1

Lai def. Fung 3-0
Barlow def. Kollins 3-0
Stephen Wong def. Wu 3-2
Kung def. Prabhakar 3-0

Lai def. Barlow 4-1
Kung def. Stephen Wong 4-1

Kung def. Lai 5-3