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Patino & Chaparro Win Doubles Event, Lee over Patino again in Singles 3-Cushion Event

Hugo Patino, Ira Lee and Young Kyu Lee

The top 3 cushion players in the country were back in action April 29th – May 2 at Carom Cafe in Flushing New York for another weekend of Scotch Doubles and Singles Carom action. 

The scotch doubles event was played on Thursday and Friday, with a field of sixteen two player teams playing in groups of four teams each. 

Group A saw the finalists from last month’s event, Hugo Patino and event winner Young Kyu Lee playing with their doubles teammates. Lee, along with teammate Joseph Hwang were winless in the group, with no chance to advance to the single elimination bracket. Patino and his partner Leo Chapparo posted a 2-1 record in group play (dropping their match against Mark Ahn & David Sohn) to earn them their spot in the final stage of the event. 

Group B came down to the “total points” tiebreaker, with three teams tied with 2-1 records. Taking the top spot was Song Lim & Johnny Kim with a total of 69 out of a possible 75 points. In a round about way, Lim & Kim were also involved in which team would join them in the single elimination bracket, as their 25-9 win over Rufino Perez & Nestor Acha was just too lopsided for Perez & Acha to hope to qualify. Their 59 total points came out short, sending Sang Jin Lee & John Bak into the single elimination stage with 64 total points. 

Eric Kwon & David Kim cruised through Group C with a 3-0 record and the remaining three teams all ended up tied with 1-2 records. The team to advance would be Sonny Cho & Hi-Suk Chung with a total of 64 points. 

Group D was a little easier to figure out, with two teams tied at 2-1. With identical records, the teams of Carlos Mario Villegas & Luis Mejia and Kaya Bayramoglu & John Gudali knew they would be advancing to the next stage of the event. They would just have to go to the tie-breaker to determine team seeding. The “total points” tiebreaker didn’t determine anything, as both teams had 74 total points. The second tie-breaker was then used, based on head to head records, and Villegas & Mejia Were awarded the top seed.

To the surprise of the fans in attendance, the single elimination bracket saw all four of the #1 seeds being eliminated by their #2 opponents. The biggest victory saw #8 ranked Sonny Cho & Hi-Suk Chung defeating overall #1 seed Eric Kwon & David Kim 25-10. Cho & Chung kept up that level of play and eliminated Bayramoglu & Gudali 25-16 in the semi-finals. They would be joined in the finals by Patino & Chapparo, who defeated Sang Jin Lee & John Bak 25-21. 

Cho & Chung’s dominance would come to an end in the finals, as Patino & Chapparo teamed up for a 25-16 win and first place. 

The thirty two player singles event kicked off on Saturday with eight groups playing a compressed round robin format that would cut the field in half before moving to a single elimination bracket. While Group B saw Patino and Lee in the same group, they would not face each other because of the compressed format. Not only did Patino advance from that group with a 2-0 record, he would advance into the single elimination bracket as the overall #1 seed. Lee would also advance with a 1-1 record, by virtue of winning the “total points” tie-breaker over Eric Kwon, who he actually lost to in group play.

The first round of single elimination play wasn’t nearly as surprising as the first round of scotch doubles play had been. The top six seeds all advanced to the next round, with the biggest upset of the round being #7 S.K. Hong dropping a 30-13 match against #10 Lee. On opposite sides of the board, Lee and Patino both won their quarterfinal matches and were joined by Carlos Mario Villegas and Kang Lee in the final four. 

The finals came down to a repeat of March’s event with Patino defeated Villegas 30-15 and Lee getting by Kang Lee 30-16. The final match and the trail leading up to it can best be described by tournament director Ira Lee with the following text. 

Young Kyu Lee, the repeat champion at the last PredatorCRM 3-Cushion pro-event at Carom Cafe, clearly struggling with his game, took an upset loss (27-30) from Eric Kwon in the preliminary round, and then found himself down 27-21 (30 point game) and on the brink of being eliminated by John Gudali, an avid local Turkish player who was having a terrific game. From the depths of despair, we all watched Young Kyu dig down deep, crawl back from out of nowhere, win that match 30-29, proceed to avenge his earlier loss against Kwon, and seize a spot in the top 16-player knockout stage on Sunday. He then systematically knocked out all challengers including heavyweights, Sonny Cho, Harry Pena, and Kang Lee in the semifinal, to take his seat in the main arena (again) with Hugo Patino in a repeat, all-PredatorCRM Revo, bout for the title. When he was behind 10-13 against the 4x US National Champion, Young Kyu made 14 points in 3 innings, with consecutive runs of 6 and 7, to take a commanding lead that would lead to his victory. Here is his impressive “out-shot” and humble interview from the deserving champion, who successfully defended his title in this exciting 3-cushion event.