NIELS FEIJEN is the 2018 MansionBet World Pool Master overcoming Shane Van Boening to lift the title he won for the first time in 2013. In front of a packed house at the Victoria Stadium in Gibraltar, Feijen dominated the final from the off and was delighted to collect the trophy, presented by Minister for Sport, Culture, Heritage and Youth, Mr Steven Linares.
Feijen, who had been out of the game for the best part of six months with tendonitis, had endured surgery on his arm. He missed the Mosconi Cup last December and the MansionBet World Pool Masters represented his first tournament back in the spotlight.
Any doubts about his fitness were dispelled with a string of fine victories culminating in triumph in the championship match over Van Boening.
He took out Raj Hundal 8-2 in the first round before beating a very dangerous Dennis Orcollo in the quarter-final.
Karl Boyes, who himself was on the comeback trail, was the deadly Dutchman’s semi-final victim
Helped by four break and runs, Feijen recovered from the loss of opening rack to build up an almost unassailable 7-2 lead. However, on the verge of victory, seemingly clearing up in the tenth rack, the Dutchman missed the orange 5 ball from short range.
Van Boening cleared up to stay alive and placed further doubt in the mind of his opponent by smoothly breaking and running in rack 11. Yet, just when the great escape began to look on the cards for the five-times US Open champion Van Boening broke dry in rack 12 and with a 1/9 combo sitting prettily, Feijen sealed the deal.
Feijen’s win was the 17th European victory in the 25 years of the event and he was delighted with his performance; ”I am pretty speechless. It has been a long ride and I would like to thank everybody who supported me, especially my wife. It is a great moment.
“The competition keeps me focussed – I played Dennis who has beaten me eight or ten times in a row, so I had to step it up in that one. Karl is a great guy and we have had some good battles in the past so that was a great match in the semi-final, and the break started to click really well in that match. My timing was good so I thought if I keep breaking like that, I could win the whole thing.
“Shane is in his own league sometimes and he is a two-time winner so that gives you an extra spark, but I thought I had a real chance. I had been out for so long I knew if I could snap this thing off, it would mean a lot to me.”
As well as the prestigious title, Feijen collects a pay cheque for $20,000 and an invite back into the 2019 Masters.
第25屆世界美式撞球大師賽於在直布羅陀落下帷幕，傷愈複出的荷蘭”終結者” Niels Feijen在其參加的首個比賽中發揮出色，連克Dennis Orcollo、Karl Boyes、Shane Van Boening等在內的4名強敵後成功問鼎，同時也躋身大師賽雙冠王行列!
一年一度的世界撞球大師賽由世界斯諾克母公司Matchroom主辦，是美式9球屆最負盛名的邀請賽事。今年比賽定於直布羅陀當地時間3月2日-4日舉行。為了紀念賽事成功跨入第25屆，組委會在確定陣容時作了一些調整，除了目前頂尖球員的Jayson Shaw、衛冕冠軍David Alcaide外，還特意邀請了數位曾經的冠軍得主參賽，如1995年冠軍Daryl Peach、1997年冠軍Earl Strickland、1999年冠軍Alex Lely、2001年冠軍巴斯塔曼迪、2003年冠軍托尼·德拉高等等。不過到比賽開始時，Tony Drago、吳珈慶以及Francisco Bustamante三人因故缺席，此三人名額由英國名將Karl Boyes、Chris Melling以及德國新星Joshua Filler頂替。
首輪比賽，Boyes出人意料的8-3橫掃衛冕冠軍David Alcaide，攜手“6冠王”Ralf Souquet、“終結者”Feijen、美國一哥Shane Van Boening、加拿大名將Alex Pagulayan等人紛紛輕鬆過關，Darren Appleton則8-6艱難擊敗美國傳奇球星Earl Strickland，也如願挺進次輪。第二輪中，同在上半區的Feijen和Boyes雙雙迎來強敵，經過激烈比拼，兩人分別以8-6和8-7逆轉擊敗Orcollo和Souquet，會師半決賽。下半區爭奪相對平靜，SVB 8-4輕取Appleton，而AZB2017年度最佳的Jayson Shaw則8-5小勝Pagulayan兩人攜手入圍四強。
兩場半決賽交鋒令人始料未及，Feijen 8-3大勝Boyes，SVB也以相同比分輕鬆擊敗Shaw，這樣決賽便在兩人之間展開，前者是2013年冠軍得主，後者則在2014-2015年連續兩年奪冠。然而決賽並未如想象般充滿火藥味，1-1短暫相持後，因肌腱炎而闊別賽場6個月有余的Feijen率先發力，連奪3盤將比分擴大為4-1 SVB僅僅扳回一局Feijen便再度強勢，瞬間以7-2拿到大把賽點。SVB竭力追回兩局後再也無力回天，Feijen最終將比分定格為8-4，問鼎桂冠的同時也成為了繼Souquet、Bustamante、Thomas Engert以及SVB之後第五位獲得兩次(含) 以上大師賽冠軍的球員。
2018 Mansion Bet World Pool Masters is sponsored by Rasson Billiards who supplies the Official Table; the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and the Official Balls are Super Aramith by Saluc. Predator is the Official Cue of the event and Ultimate Team Gear provide all World Pool Masters apparel.
Luke Riches, Matchroom Sport: email@example.com
Notes: MATCHROOM SPORT is one of the world’s leading producers of televised sport and is responsible for over 1,000 hours of original programming across a range of sports. Based in the UK and chaired by charismatic founder Barry Hearn, they operate three pool events; the Mosconi Cup, the World Cup of Pool and the World Pool Masters. In addition, the company produce a multitude of events in darts, snooker, tenpin, golf, fishing, ping pong, poker and boxing.