Billiards Semifinals Set for Championships

Billiards Semifinals Set for Championships
by InsidePOOL Staff
Only four players remain in each division of the 9-Ball Championships, with the semifinals set for Wednesday afternoon and evening. All semifinal and final matches will be taped for later broadcasts by ESPN.
In the first semifinal of the day, Johnny Archer will meet up with Ronnie Wiseman. Archer, having bested Tony Crosby 11-5, matched up with Gabe Owen in the final round Tuesday evening. The two players went neck and neck through the entire match until it came to rest at double-hill. It was Owen’s break, but he missed a 1-7 carom attempt. Archer fired in the 1 ball and played four-rail position to get shape on the 2. From there he had few problems clearing the table of the remaining balls to advance. Wiseman reached the semifinals by first sending Charlie Bryant to the one-loss side 11-4 and then eliminating Steve Moore from the tournament 11-6.
Anna Kostanian and Xiaoting Pan will play in the second semifinal match. In Tuesday’s evening rounds, Kostanian met Allison Fisher, ranked number one by the WPBA. Kostanian was able to capitalize on Fisher’s uncharacteristic errors and won their match 9-6. In the same round, Pan toppled Karen Corr, ranked third on the women’s tour, in another neck-and-neck match that saw Pan score a 9-7 victory.
To start the evening session, Shawn Putnam and Jeremy Jones will play the third semifinal match. Putnam notched a hill-hill win over Steve Moore earlier in the day and then matched up with former world champ Mika Immonen. Yet another tough match ensued, and just when Immonen took the lead at 9-8, he left an open table in the next rack for Putnam to tie it up. A break and run-out earned Putnam the hill, and then in the last rack, Immonen overcut the 9 ball, handing Putnam the match 11-9.
Jones’ first match of the day was against Gabe Owen, whom he defeated 11-6 to face Raj Hundal, who had just vanquished Thorsten Hohmann 11-8 in the battle between two “Hitmen.” But Hundal faltered in this match—from a 5-1 lead, he allowed Jones back in the match. Soon it was 9-all, and though Jones missed a bank attempt on the 8 ball, Hundal missed a straight shot. Now on the hill, Jones took advantage of a foul by Hundal to finish off the match 11-9.

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The last semifinal match will feature former BCA Open champion Jasmin Ouschan versus Ga Young Kim. Ouschan, who hails from Austria, played fellow countrywoman Gerda Hofstatter in the evening round and dominated her. Ouschan held a 5-0 lead before Hofstatter put a game under her belt. Hofstatter fought back to draw within a rack of her opponent at 6-5, but that was all she could do. Hofstatter missed the 6 ball up the rail in the last rack, and Ouschan cleared to win 9-5.
Kim’s Tuesday evening match-up was against Kelly Fisher, and in one of the speediest matches of the round, the ladies kept the score close until Kim was up 8-7. She missed a simple 4 ball, at which point Fisher played safe on the 5. Kim kicked and contacted the 5 but left an open table for Fisher. However, Fisher scratched on the 9 ball, handing Kim a 9-7 victory.
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