US Open Day Six Leaves Four Left Fighting

Jayson Shaw

By Friday evening at the U.S. Open the field was down to those who had survived some truly dramatic matches. One of those providing the excitement was fan-favorite Tommy Kennedy. Kennedy had served notice earlier in the week when he sent Brandon Shuff over to the one-loss side 11-7.

He was then sent to the left side himself by Jeremy Sossei, but then bounced right back with a very impressive 11-6 victory over Ralf Souquet. Next he ran into the powerhouse of Nikos Ekonomopoulos from Greece and found himself covered and smothered 11-1 to end the week.

Niels Feijen has been quietly slashing his way through the field. He brushed a strong Ty Laha aside 11-5, wiped out the American Rotation Champion Joey Dupuis 11-5 and then just never stopped chopping heavy timber. He took down Chris Bartram 11-8 and then flushed champion-of-everything Darren Appleton left with a precise 11-2 domination.

His road stayed rough as he had to face Oscar Dominguez and OD hadn't set a foot wrong all week. His shots were splitting the pockets and the cue ball listened to many of his whispers. The match lived up to its advance publicity and Dominguez prevailed 11-10 to move Feijen over to the longer route home. Feijen continued his run by knocking out Ekonomopoulos 11-9, but he was just getting warmed up. The next favorite to fall to Feijen was Johnny Archer by the score 11-8. That left one obstacle between Niels and Saturday play; Chris Melling. After a loss to Shane Van Boening late Friday night, Melling then fell to Feijen 11-9 to end his tourney run.

After Darren Appleton was sent left by Feijen, he dispatched Rodney Morris 11-8 and Keith Bennett 11-10 before seeing his tournament hopes dashed at the hands of Jeremy Sossei 11-8. 

Sossei has followed up his second place finish at Turning Stone last month with another great tournament this week. Sossei had notable wins this week over Robb Saez, Ekonomopolous and Appleton before falling to Van Corteza late Friday night.

Jayson Shaw is one helluva player. Off of the table Shaw has a ready laugh and makes friends easily. When facing the racks, he displays an instinctive focus that takes him through the balls as if it were just meant to be. He began his week downing Charlie Williams 11-5 and his stops along the way included the 11-7 gnarling of Tommy Kennedy. He passed World Champ Huidji See 11-6 and then defrocked Johnny Archer 11-8. (This after Archer had shell-shocked Lee Van Corteza 11-1 and overpowered Jason Klatt 11-5.)

Shaw wasn't done. He never gave Oscar Dominguez enough opportunities to show his stuff and his break was working. He muscled through 11-5 and now faces Shane Van Boening way out on the end of the winners' bracket.

Lee Van Corteza has had a tough but rewarding day. He shellacked Hijikata 11-1 and then went into a couple of double-hill showdowns as he eclipsed both Imran Majid and Mike Dechaine 11-10. After the win over Sossei late Friday, Corteza eliminated a visibly tired Oscar Dominguez in 5th place 11-6.

These days you almost expect for Shane Van Boening to be hanging around somewhere on the winners's side of the charts. He rarely disappoints and thus far has been stellar all week. He first won  over Omar Al-Shaheen 11-5, then demolished Fabio Petroni 11-3 and Danny Mastermaker 11-5. Jeremy Sossei (shooting great these days) could not stand the heat and fell 11-7 and Chris Melling was nullified 11-6.

That brings us to the Shaw VS Van-Boening showdown that the crowd has been awaiting all week. These two champions will face off for the hot-seat at 1pm EST, while Niels Feijen takes on Van Corteza on the one loss side for the right to take on the loser of the Van Boening/Shaw match at 3pm. All roads lead to the finals, scheduled to kick off at 7pm Saturday night.

Follow all of the action with our online brackets and real time scoring, found on our live coverage page.