Online Tournament Coverage

by Mike Mazek Jan 12, 2002, 12:40 PM EST

Only 17 players remain in the 9-ball division of the Derby City Classic after Friday evening's action. Buddy Hall, Mika Immonen, Johnny Archer and Cory Deuel were among the 12 winners last night. On the other hand, 2000 U.S. Open champ Earl Strickland was eliminated by Hall, joining Shawn Putnam, Mark Gregory, Danny Harriman, Kevin West, Evgeny Stalev and Troy Frank in a share of 18-24th place worth $400.

Tournament Notes
Despite losing last night, Rodney Morris is still one of the feared 17 remaining in the tournament thanks to the buy-back. And the way Morris is seeing things these days, he looks like a serious contender for the 9-ball title. "I tried wearing contact lenses in my first tournament back [at the Tokyo International Billiard Tournament in November]," said Morris. "But I took them out for the Reno Open because it was messing up my perception. I'm really near-sighted; I used to be 20-10, now I'm 40-30. It's a good thing the tables aren't 12-feet long, otherwise I'd be in trouble." Morris decided to stay away from the contact lenses for Derby City. The move has paid off. The 1996 U.S. Open champion and recent Reno Open winner has knocked out some fierce competitors, and he also received a bye in Round 8 of the Derby City Classic, giving him a free pass to the next round. "Bye," said Morris, looking at the tournament board. "I always beat that guy."

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