Mosconi Cup Nears Start

All 12 players are now congregated in Rotterdam, Holland as the 13th annual Mosconi Cup readies itself for the big break-off at 20.00 local time on Thursday 7th December at the Cruise Terminal.

The Mosconi Cup is pool's most prestigious team event and features two six-man teams representing America and Europe in a four day shoot-out styled on golf's Ryder Cup.

The event features a series of singles, scotch doubles and trebles matches and with a total of 24 points available, it's the first team to reach 13 points who will lift the magnificent trophy on Sunday night.

For the first time in the Mosconi Cup there are two additions to the format; the possibility of a drawn match in which case the holders, Team USA, would retain the trophy, and two matches featuring all twelve players competing.

History is with the Americans. They have won ten of the twelve runnings of the Mosconi Cup with just two European victories in 1995 and 2002.

For the second time in the event's history a shot clock will be used. This allows players just 30 seconds per shot, although there is one 30 second extension allowable per rack in the singles matches and two per rack in the team games.

Live on Sky Sports throughout, the event also goes live on DSF in Germany and for the first time on SBS6, the Dutch terrestrial broadcaster.

American lynchpin Rodney Morris, who has has played in the last three tournaments only and suffered just one defeat from 13 matches, believes the Mosconi Cup is the “greatest event in the world”.

However, ‘The Rocket' insists that America will have to be at their best to clinch the trophy for the fourth time and cannot afford to be complacent, despite their domination of the event.

“I think it's going to be a hard-fought battle,” said Morris. “This one has all the makings that one match could decide it. The Europeans have lost a few and had a few blow-outs and that's always a let down for them.

“You have a tendency to be over confident when you've won so much but Europe has nothing to lose now because they've been beaten so many times and they're getting hungrier and hungrier.

“There's a build up of pressure for us and we know we can't win every time. We have to find new ways to gear ourselves up. We've done everything we can to stay focused and you have to reinvent ways of staying sharp.

"But we've won a lot of competitions, including five US Opens between us, so we will be fine. We know how win and know how to get it right.”

“I love this competition. I think it's the greatest event in the world and the atmosphere is always unbelievable,” he added.

For the Europeans, there is a departure this year with the appointment of a non-playing coach in the shape of Johan Ruijsink.

The Dutch national coach has been readying his troops with two days of intensive team building and of his two debutants, England's Imran Majid believes it could be a telling factor.

“We have a couple of secret weapons up our sleeves this year. On the first day we were all together we did some social activities like golf and had dinner together and it's about getting to know each other and become more of a team.

Londoner Majid, 34, is currently ranked as the No.3 player in Europe and will be part of the European side for the first time.

“I'm looking forward to it and people say it's a different kind of pressure but I'm going to treat it like any other tournament.

“I was over the moon when I found out I was in the team and it's the greatest tournament to play in.

“I've got myself to number three in the European rankings that's why I'm here and I'm here on merit.

“There's always going to be extra pressure on new players but it's how you handle it. I'm pretty seasoned and established to be able to handle the pressure.”

“It's crucial for Europe to win this year and for the Mosconi Cup as an event otherwise it could become a bit boring and monotonous if the US keep winning,” he added.

The teams are:


Mika Immonen (Finland)
Imran Majid (England)
Ralf Souquet (Germany)
Thomas Engert (Germany)
Nick van den Berg (Holland)
David Alcaide (Spain)


Johnny Archer (Georgia)
Rodney Morris (Hawaii)
Earl Strickland (North Carolina)
Mike Davis (Maryland)
Corey Deuel (Ohio)
John Schmidt (California)

This is the 13th running of pool's answer to the Ryder Cup and the current score stands at 10 – 2 to the Americans.

The official sponsors of the 2006 Mosconi Cup are Brunswick Tables, Simonis Cloth, Super Aramith Pro Balls and Predator Cues.

The event's official website is