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Behrman's Baby: U.S. Open Turns 31
Sep 26, 2006, 9:40 AM

A field of 219 players, ranging from Hall of Famers to 11-year-olds, have returned to the familiar surroundings of Chesapeake, Va., and the familiar game of 9-ball at the 31st annual U.S. Open, beginning Sept. 25.

Though the field is not to capacity, Behrman still added the full $72,000 and assured that next year would have a full field. Missing from the roster are Filipino forces Efren Reyes and Francisco Bustamante. Marlon Manalo and Dennis Orcollo are also not playing in the Open, joining Thorsten Hohmann, Niels Feijan, and Ralf Souquet in the World Pool League starting Sept. 29 in England. The tournament is being directed by Scott Smith, along with his assistant, Ken Schuman. The top 32 players were seeded and 37 byes were given in the first round.

The first day was full of anticipation, with some tough match-ups right off the bat. U.S. Open champion in 2004, Gabe Owen, was pitted against veteran Larry Nevel in round one. Another exciting match was a pressure-packed match between Shane Van Boening's and Ramil Gallego. Van Boening sent Gallego to the one-loss side, 11-8.

Charlie Williams won a tight match over Jay Hlavacheck, after Hlavacheck was about to get on the hill, but missed a 9 ball.

Today's action will clear up the initial round, ensuring that everyone has played at least once, and then move into the next round on the one-loss side, where the first eliminations will occur.

Stay tuned to HeadString News for updates.