U.S. Open 9-Ball Completes the Opening Round

The opening round of most any major tournament is normally devoid of drama as the seeded players rarely have to face off against anyone of consequence. The U.S Open is no exception to that rule, but Monday did find a match that had the room buzzing. The always dependable and strong Larry Nevel came to his match against Monica Webb a favorite, but Ms. Webb played a flawless match. Once tied at three she then put down a four-pack to lead Nevel 7-3 in their race to 11 games. She then simply refused to give up control of the table and Nevel just never got an opportunity to find his gear. At the end Webb put together three wins in a row to take the match down 11-4.

Another match that had the room abuzz, though not in a positive manner, was the match between Michael Wong and Michael Yednak. Both men played in slo-mo and the match, scheduled for two hours, took three hours and forty minutes. Two matches that started in the round after this match actually finished before the two Mikes could reach a conclusion. Yednak finally won 11-9.

The reminder of the morning rounds went as would be expected with the heavy-hitters pushing the cannon fodder out of the way as they made their way to the right of the charts.

The evening session saw three more abbreviated rounds of play. The 6:30 round featured a great match up between Stevie Moore and Japan's Kenichi Uchigaki. Uchigaki took an early lead, but Moore found his stroke and clawed back to take the lead in the middle section of the match. That only served to spur on Uchigaki, as he quickly retook the lead and did not relinquish it on his way to an 11-9 win.


The final match of the night was well worth staying for for, as young Jesse Engel looked to be having all sort of problems dealing with East Coast regular Raj Vannala. Vannala held an 8-4 lead and looked to be in control, when the wheels started to fall off. Sensing weakness, Engel ground Vannala down and won seven straight games for the 11-8 victory.


Tuesday will features some true heavyweight matchups with Mika Immonen facing Warren Kiamco and Jayson Shaw taking on Charlie Williams.


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