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Tournament Coverage

'Cannon" Fires First Shot
by Mike Panozzo Jul 17, 2002, 1:28 PM EST

American Daulton's big break broke Immonen's heart Wednesday.

Shannon "The Cannon" Daulton of the U.S. posted the first shocker of the knock-out stage at the Hasseroder World Pool Championship in Cardiff, Wales, firing his way from an 8-5 deficit to stun defending champion Mika Immonen of Finland, 9-6 Wednesday afternoon.

The 30-year-old Tennessean, whose play has been both erratic and infrequent in the past 18 months, had barely made it into the final 64, edging out snooker star Tony Drago by a single game in group play. Immonen, on the other hand, earned the No.2 seed for the final 64 by winning six of his seven group matches, and 33 out of a possible 35 games.

None of which matters now. Immonen, who had played brilliantly in winning the 2001 title, looked on in stunned disbelief as Daulton ran out from the break in each of the final three games.

In other action on the first day of single-elimination play, which shifts to races to nine and winners-break, Earl Strickland and Efren Reyes moved into the final 32. Strickland held off a game Gary Ponting, 9-5, while Reyes rattled off nine consecutive games in a 9-2 triumph over Poland's Radoslaw Babica.

Germany's Thorsten Hohman, who has posted a fourth-place and second-place finish in the International Billiard Council tour, continued his surprising play with a 9-0 trouncing of Shintaro Sugaya. Dutchman Alex Lely ended the hopes of snooker's world No.2, Mark Williams, 9-1.

For complete Group standings, and Final 64 pairings, http://www.worldpoolchampionship.com/results.asp">click here:

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