Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Playing Field Cut in Half Heading into Day 3

The 120-player field is being chopped in half by virtue of a brutal second full day of play for all of the entrants. Tuesday’s schedule worked the players through five full rounds without a break. Tomorrow they can expect to play only four rounds out of five.

Mike Sigel did not advance to Wednesday’s rounds. He had a chance, but it came down to between him and Marko Lohtander. Sigel lost to Marlon Manalo 8-5, while Lohtander defeated Wayne Catledge 8-3. “I didn't get out when I should have,” Sigel explained afterward. “I had plenty of chances. I missed the nine—I got careless, I missed the eight. I can't believe it didn’t go in. I had plenty of chances—there is no excuse. I’m not comfortable playing on the tables—that’s it.”

Sarah Ellerby was the only woman remaining who had the chance to move on, as Allison Fisher, Gerda Hofstatter, and Loree Jon Jones passed through Tuesday’s rounds without a win. In her last round, Ellerby went up against Teddy Garrahan and won, but there was a tie in her group—three players had won three games, and Ellerby had the percentage of games won necessary to advance. Hofstatter won her fourth-round match against Ismael Paez 8-5.

Snooker star Ronnie O’Sullivan, who has been generating huge interest in the international scene, barely squeaked by into the next round. He lost his hill-hill match against Mika Immonen, and though he tied with two other people in his group, he advanced because of his higher games-won percentage.

George Breedlove was also on tenterhooks after winning his double-hill match against Sammy Jones. “Anybody that wants to come to Indiana and work with me for thirty days and do everything I do—they can bet fifty thousand at the end of thirty days.”When asked how he felt after the day’s play, he said, “Well, I always feel like I’m King Kong, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to get to the top of the building.” Breedlove tied with John Schmidt and Jianbo Fu for three wins, but he lost by a small percentage.Larry Nevel advanced to the next round by three one-hundredths of a percentage point over Takeshi Okumura. That really brings home how important every single game can be.

David Matlock had an easy time of it in the fifth round, as his opponent, Greg Hogue, forfeited. “I had a good day today—I was undefeated. I really don’t know why my last opponent didn’t show—it could have been worth something. Today was much better. I struggled yesterday, but everyone had problems yesterday. I dry broke I don’t know how many times yesterday,” Matlock said.

He then added, “I changed my break a little from yesterday, I was hanging on to the cue a little too hard, had kind of a death grip on it, so I let up a little. My closest match was eight-five, but they were all closer than the score showed. I feel real good going into the next round tomorrow—you know it’s going to get tougher from here—it’s sure not going to get easier. I got better today, and I’m just gonna get a good night’s rest and be prepared for tomorrow.”

No explanations for George San Souci’s forfeit have been forthcoming as yet, but it is to be assumed that it is because of his previous four losses, as with Greg Hogue. With the new games-won percentage method of seeding, this could be devastating to them both.

For a list of the 60 remaining players, please click here.

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