Pagulayan wins US Open

Alex Pagulayan shoots while Scott Smith looks on

Alex 'The Lion' Pagulayan is your new US Open Champion.

Pagulayan started the day on the winners side waiting to face Jose Parica for the hot-seat. Before that could happen, the lone American in the field, Earl Strickland, had to take on Francisco Bustamante on the one-loss side. This match would prove to be short as Bustamante cruised to an 11-4 win. That left an all Filipino field with Pagulayan, Parica and Bustamante gunning for the $40,000 first prize.

In the match for the hot-seat, Pagulayan took advantage of a couple uncharacteristic mistakes from Parica to win 11-6.

The semi-final match between Parica and Bustamante was close with Parica missing a ball that would have put him on the hill first. Bustamante ended up getting to the hill first, but Parica got there right behind him and then won the case game to earn the rematch with Pagulayan in the finals.

The final match started out close with the players tied at 5-5, but each time Parica had a chance to take control he would miss a ball and give the momentum to Pagulayan. From 5-5, Pagulayan won four straight games to take a 9-5 lead. Parica won one more rack to get to 9-6, but Pagulayan could not be stopped and scored another identical 11-6 win over Parica in the finals.

As expected, Pagulayan was ecstatic after the win saying he had now accomplished two of this three goals in life. One was to win the World Championship, the next to win the US Open, and the third to grow another 2 inches taller.

Pagulayan pocketed $40,000 for the win, while Parica settled for $20,000. Bustamante took home $10,000 and Strickland won $5,000.

We have two photo galleries from the US Open with more photos coming soon. We also have complete brackets showing how all of the players got to where they finished. Gallery 1 | 2

Photo courtesy of Diana Hoppe - Pool Pics by Hoppe