Morris takes 7th Annual Interpool Open in Sweden

Rodney Morris

In a tournament dominated by Swedish players (three out of every four), it was the English versus the Americans in the finals of the 7th Annual Interpool Open, held in the town of Gavle, Sweden on the weekend of June 2-4. Rodney Morris defeated Raj Hundal to take home the first-place, 20,000 krona prize ($3,247.80). The 9-Ball event with a 60,000 krona prize pool ($9,743.40) was double elimination down to 64 players, when it became single elimination.

Morris' path to the showdown versus Hundal wasn't without its challenges. He faced four straight Swedes in the opening rounds of the tournament, who ran up a total of 30 racks against him (to his 44), including a double hill battle waged by Jani Kempas in the Stage 2 Semi-Elimination round of 32.  Morris went on to defeat Norway's Robert Gronlie 11-6, and then ran into another double hill challenge off the stick of Sweden's Christian Fischer. He defeated Sweden's Jim Chawki 11-8 in the semifinals for the right to face Morris.

Hundal's path to the finals followed the same sort of trajectory in the opening rounds. After an opening round bye, he allowed Tomas Fredriksson, Elie Narrian, and Martin Rottem Dahle to rack up 20 against his 33. His next three matches, propelling him into the finals versus Morris proved to be a little smoother. He gave up only nine racks total (three in each match), to Joakim Haugen, Vegar Kristiansen, and in the semifinals, Marcus Chamat.

Tony Drago and Mika Immonen were on hand, as well. Immonen drew a bye in the opening round and defeated four opponents by an aggregate score of 44-31 before falling to Sweden's Jim Chawki in the quarterfinals. Drago got by four, as well, 44-27, before giving way in the Stage 2 Semi-Elimination Round of 32 to Sweden's Marcus Sjoberg 11-6.

Morris came into the finals having given up at least six racks in all but one of his seven matches; an 11-5 victory over Ulf Swedberg in the third round, was the only exception. He gave up five versus  Hundal in the final match to take home the first place prize.