I had big plans of writing this great story after winning the 3rd
straight US Open. Actually it was something that was on my agenda for
a year. I simply could not avoid the subject. It became like a mantra
to me. Everybody kept encouraging me and asking questions like: "Are
you going to do it?". As if I could just decide. Well I gave it all I
had. 256 players and I was one of 3 left. It pains me to think about
how close I came to actually pulling it off. Right now I don't even
know how to feel about it. It's always just one or two shots that
alters the run of the match and the momentum. Speaking of which, the
hot seat match against Appleton was huge. Despite the delays with
referee having trouble racking I made a great come-back and was on my
way of running a really tough rack when I missed a cut on a 7-ball. It
changed everything. I Gift-wrapped Darren the match. Otherwise it
would have been 10-10 with me breaking.
After so much trouble making a proper rack they put a new spot on the
table which made things only worse. Now I had to fade gaps everywhere
which made the break very inconsistent and unpredictable. So the semi
against Corey Deuel was a joke. To his credit he did play great, but
the break was so random he had to get a few rolls to get shape so many
times on it. I was pretty much part of the audience there watching him
run out one rack after the other.
I am not sure why they can't have the same standard all the way
through the tournament. It went from "rack your own" to referees doing
it in final four. It's just frustrating to play a great tournament
only to see it slip away because of things out of your control.
I know it was a great run, but I'm still sick when I think about it.
I guess it's time to look at the positive aspects. All in all,
including last year's 14 and this year I did win 22 consecutive games
in a row in the toughest field of the sport. It's going to be very
hard to duplicate. I did also start the month by winning the Challenge
of Champions(repeat) followed by a 2nd place finish at the world 14.1
I'm into repeats, I guess. LOL
Another positive thing is that they just confirmed me for the
Mosconi-Cup so I have something exciting to look forward to. It is my
14th appearance which ties the record with Johnny Archer and Ralf
Souquet. I'm in good company.