** Photographs provided by Wei Chao of www.cuetable.com
East Brunswick, New Jersey- The Predator World 14.1 Championship crown is retained by Europe once more, but not by Germany as many predicted. This time, Dutchman Niels Feijen fought for the crown against a field of 63 other players and came on top and undefeated in the process.
Feijen won for himself, his county and his friends
The day started off with Feijen versus fellow countryman Nick Vandenberg. Nick was the highest seed and player with the best record which gave him the option to go first or second in the semi-finals. He chose first. The match went back and forth with neither player being able to take advantages of the mistakes of the other. The match would go on a shot clock and still it lasted nearly 4 hours before Feijen would win 200-157 .
Ouschan and Bustamante was a more anticipated match up with eyes on Jasmin being the first woman hopeful to make it to the finals of a major men's championship. Jasmin would not disappoint as she commanded a lead early on and at one time was winning 84-41 while Bustamante struggled with his game. At 122 to 81 in favor of Ouschan, Bustamante woke up and ran nearly a hundred balls to take the lead for the first time. Ouschan would soon succumb to the mighty Filipino 200-148.
"I'm happy with my results. Just two days ago I didn't think I was going to make it out of my group, so I wasn't even thinking about having this kind of finish." commented Ouschan on her historic run at the World 14.1 . Ouschan now holds the record for highest placing woman in a men's pro championship ever in pool's 130 year history of championship play. She also holds the top two high run records set by a woman with a 90 and 84. "I have alot of respect for Jasmin Ouschan." announced Francisco Bustamante later in a speech.
The finals would be Philippines versus Netherlands. Feijen on paper seemed the obvious favorite with four European 14.1 titles to his name while Bustamante has had over 30 major titles, but none of them in straight pool. The paper favorite seemed to be right on the money. Bustmante erred early on and let Feijen take a forty ball lead, and then Bustamante missed in his first open shot, a seemingly easy ball. Later as Niels missed leading 80-0, and Bustmante took a break and left saying , "Niels is playing good, but don't worry I will come back and run 200.", Bustamante said with a smile. On his return, Bustamante had an easier shot and easier table but carelessly misjudged the shot and missed again. Niels then extended his lead to 189 balls before missing an easy shot. Bustamante made his first shot to the cheers and laughter of the audience and went on to make a great 3 way combo. But soon after he missed another easy shot and conceded the match to Feijen 200-11 , who then raised his hands in victory overjoyed with genuine emotion. Feijen had gone undefeated in 13 straight matches for the win and pocketed over 1600 balls total.
In an emotional speech, Niels dedicated the win to his friend Joe Kerr who passed away weeks ago. "I want to dedicate my win here to a good friend of mine who passed away, Joe Kerr." Feijen started fighting back some tears and choking up. "I'm sorry," he added as he recomposed himself with a breath. "Joe was my first contact in the US, and without knowing him I would not be a professional player today."
"I remember Niels as an unknown player at the US Open several years ago. I remember players making fun of him on how he gambled always playing his best and always playing tough matches. But that's who he is and what he's about, and now he will forever be remembered as the World Straight Pool Champion on this trophy with his name etched next to the greatest players in history." said Charlie Williams, co-producer of the Dragon Promotions event.
Feijen not only has won his first World Championship title, but also brought Netherlands their first pocket billiards World Championship. Feijen's name will be inscribed in the World 14.1 Championship cup alongside names such as De Oro, Greenleaf, Mosconi, Caras, Lassiter, Sigel, Mizerak, Hohmann among others.
Thorsten Hohmann won the High Run Award for the second time with his 150 & out against Ralf Souquet. He wins an additional $1000 from Dr. Louis Pannullo, the sponsor of the award.
Full info,results, and stats can be found at www.dragonpromotions.com and brackets at www.azbilliards.com
Matches on last two days will be available soon at www.cuetable.com by Wei Chao.
The 2008 Predator World Straight Pool Championship is proudly sponsored by Dr.Michael Fedak of NYC, Joel Schapiro of NYC, The Predator Group, Diamond Billiard Products, Aramith Balls, and Simonis Cloth. For more information on player registration, sponsorship, or if you would like to submit a comment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Dragon Promotions at 1-407-782-4978.