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Headstring News
U.S. Open Field Down to Half
Sep 23, 2005, 3:12 PM


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Ochoa's play is turning some heads.

The 256-man full-capacity field has been cut in half on the fifth day of the 30th annual U.S. Open 9-ball Championships in Chesapeake, Va. there were no gimme matches left as several big name had slipped into the treacherous, mile-deep losersí bracket.

Reno Open winner Marlon Manalo and 2003 BCA 9-ball Open titlist Tony Robles found themselves slugging it out deep in the one-loss bracket on Friday afternoon. Nearby, major event winners Marcus Chamat and Mike Davis faced off as red-hot Robb Saez and 2004 BCA champion Thorsten Hohmann battled for survival in the one-loss bracket.

Playing on diamond tables with 4 1/2 inch pockets and an absolutely unforgiving cut the finesse players and most experienced pros seemed to have an edge.

"You arenít seeing a lot of guys breaking and running out," said pro Tony Crosby.

Among the 16 players left in the winnersí bracket was Efren Reyes, who dropped defending U.S. Open champ Gabe Owen to the one-loss side, 11-8 on Thursday night. Reyes will meet Filipino countryman Jose Parica on Friday night. After a weak showing at the World Pool Championships, the Filipino contingent is performing quite well here; Alex Pagulayan and a resurgent Francisco Bustamante will meet in a winnersí-bracket match on Friday night as well.

So far, the surprise of the tournament is young Sylver Ochoa, 19, a college sophomore at Texas-Pan American and a mainstay on the Fast Eddieís regional tour. Ochoa beat Keith McCready Thursday night, 11-8, to stay undefeated. He will face Ralf Souquet on Friday night in a winnersí-bracket match.

The sixteen players now left in the winnersí bracket are:
Nick Van den Berg, Charlie "Hillbilly" Bryant, Jose Parica, Efren Reyes, Ernesto Dominguez, Charlie Williams, Ralf Souquet, Sylver Ochoa, Tang Hoa, Niels Feijen, Andreas Roschkowsky, Jeremy Jones, Alex Pagulayan, Francisco Bustamante, Johnny Archer and Troy Frank.

Visit www.azbilliards.com for event brackets and www.usopen9ballchampionships.com for ongoing updates

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