U.S. Fields Powerhouse Platoon for World Championship
by Mason King Jun 14, 2005, 10:10 AM EST
The United States has fielded one of its strongest contingents yet for the 2005 World Pool Championship, bringing 12 proven shooters with at least one significant title each.
Producer Matchroom Sport this week announced the draw for the round-robin stage of the 128-man event, to be held July 2-10 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
The U.S. contingent will consist of former world champions Johnny Archer and Earl Strickland; U.S. Open victors Rodney Morris, Jeremy Jones and Gabe Owen; Reno Open champs Mike Davis, John Schmidt and Danny Basavich; BCA Open winners Cory Deuel and Charlie Williams; Glass City Open champion Charles Bryant; and 2005 Pro Players title-holder Shawn Putnam. (Several of these players have won more than one major title.)
At least in this case, new performance-based entry criteria devised by Matchroom Sport appear to have accomplished the goal of fielding the strongest players from participating countries. In recent years, with the United States Professional Poolplayers Association charged with fielding America’s participants, several marginal players slipped into the tournament when higher-ranked players declined invitations.
This year’s WPC field will feature players from at least 45 different countries. Six remaining slots for the final 128 will be determined during a qualifying tournament to be held in late June in Kaohsiung.
In the round-robin stage, it appears that Schmidt and Deuel have the toughest draws. Deuel’s 8-man group includes Holland’s Niels Feijen, Korea’s Young-hwa Jeong, Ronato Alcano from the Phillippines, Thorsten Schober from Germany and Italian champ Fabio Petroni.
Schmidt must contend with Sweden’s Marcus Chamat, Germany’s Andreas Roschkowsky, Gandy Valle of the Philippines, Spanish star David Alcaide, and Ying-chieh Chen of Taiwan, among others.
The top 64 players from the round-robin stage will advance to the single-elimination round. This year's top prize is $75,000.