Only three players are remaining as contenders in the 4th US Open 10-Ball Championships, which will go into its fifth and final day of competition on Tuesday, July 23.
The 8:30 session of competition on Monday evening held the fate of the last four players remaining at that point, two playing to get into the hot seat in the winner’s side final, and two in the quarterfinal.
In the hot seat match, we saw former champion Lee Van Corteza go up against Rodney “The Rocket” Morris. While Corteza has been in the spotlight of many major events in recent times, as the match’s commentators Ken Shuman and Scott Frost mentioned, Morris was likely under more pressure in this match to come with a win after no recent successes. That being said, few pro pool aficionados would be able to predict the way this match turned out.
While Morris got out to an early 2-1 lead, it looked like Corteza would pick up momentum in the following game after Morris scratched on the break in game four. However, after playing a thin cut on the six, Corteza was unfortunate to get hooked on the corner of the side pocket for position on the eight. From here on out, the match went in favor of Morris. Corteza would only win one more game to go 4-2, and a missed one ball in the next rack would give the table back to Morris.
Both players made a few errors, but Morris was able to keep control of the table, and broke and ran three of the next four racks to win 9-2 to secure himself a spot in the final match. NYC pool player and Hustlin’ USA apparel rep Rhys Chen spoke with Rodney Morris after the match, who stated that if he gets to the hill first, he’ll definitely win. Morris is a West Coast fan favorite, and the final will surely draw a great crowd.
In the quarterfinal match, Dennis Orcollo was fighting to keep his chances alive to defend his title…while 24-year-old Wu Jia-Qing of China, a former World Champion, was hoping for a chance at his first win in the U.S. Both being world-class international players, they had a close match that had a dramatic ending.
At 7-6 with Orcollo leading, the next game took a surprising twist. Orcollo was preparing to play a jump shot, and unknowingly committed a foul by practicing a jump shot on an adjoining table. An attending referee alerted Orcollo that he fouled, and Wu then took ball in hand. While spectators were anticipating the match to go 7-7, Wu shockingly hung up the four ball, and gave Orcollo an unexpected opportunity, running out to get to the hill, 8-6.
Orcollo had a big break in the next rack and dropped four balls, but the cue ball also went down after being kicked into a pocket. Wu then ran out the rack with ball in hand, impressing the audience with a long back cut on the six ball after leaving himself tough on the shot. The margin was then only one game, 8-7, and Wu had a chance to get to the hill…but a scratch in the side pocket on the break left Orcollo an open table to clear with ball in hand, allowing him to put away the match at 9-7.
Dennis Orcollo is now set to play the semifinal against Lee Van Corteza, which will take place at 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern on Tuesday, and be streamed live on TheActionReport.com.
The winner of that match will go on to play Rodney Morris in the final at 2pm Pacific, and play for a chance at the title and a $15,000 first prize.
Sponsors of the 2013 US Open 10-Ball Championships:
CueSports International (playcsipool.com)
Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino (riolasvegas.com)
Diamond Billiard Products (diamondbilliards.net)
Mueller Recreational Products (muellers.com)
Simonis Cloth (simoniscloth.com)
Tweeten Fibre / Master Chalk (tweeten.us)
OB Cues (obcues.com)
Predator Cues (predatorcues.com)
TAR – The Action Report (theactionreport.com)
Billiards Digest (billiardsdigest.com)
Magic Ball Rack (playbca.com/magicballrack.aspx)
Cyclop Billiard Balls