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Stroke of Genius

Presented by PoolDawg.com
Video provided by Accu-Stats Video Productions
November 2010: On a Roll

Player: Corey Deuel
Event: 2001 U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship
Date: September 16, 2001

IT'S DIFFICULT to argue that any moment in the first rack of a race to 11 can be considered decisive. Maybe it's more appropriate to say, in this case anyway, that this shot proved to be a harbinger of things to come.

The 2001 U.S. Open was certainly one of the most memorable weeks in the franchise's now 35-year history. The tragedy of 9/11 overshadowed the on-table drama; the ensuing fiasco over a reduction in prize money divided players, promoters and spectators; and the final was unlike anything seen before.

Corey Deuel, with his soft break working to perfection, collected rack after rack - all while Mika Immonen sat in his chair on the wrong end of the only shutout final in the Open's storied history.

In the first rack, Deuel fell out of line on his way toward shape on the 7 ball.

"I shot the 5 and hooked myself on the 7," Deuel said. "The 7 and 9 were sitting near the spot in such a way that if I went upstairs and kicked at it, then I had a chance to make the 9."

Deuel went for the long kick, hammering the cue ball off the head rail and back down toward the 7-9 cluster. The 7 dropped in the right corner, while the 9 walked right over to Deuel, who was standing behind the left corner pocket.

With a pump of his cue, Deuel took his break - all of one game into the final.

"I think that first game was really big," Deuel said after the match. "Mentally, I might have got [Immonen]."

From that point, Deuel continued to roll, collecting rack after rack, while Immonen had to sit and watch.

"He just got off so strong, and it was like 5-0 before I got a legitimate shot," Immonen said. "I'm still supposed to perform, but I don't know what happened. At the end, I was just scared."

(Video clip provided by Accu-Stats Video Productions.)

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