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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - LG U-Plus Cup 3-Cushion Masters - Seoul (KOR)

When it's all about luck, bad luck, hope and illusion

Posted by on September 7, 2017

When it's all about luck, bad luck, hope and illusion

© Kozoom/Korea
Jérémy Bury's desillusion after his unlucky fiinish against Frédéric Caudron

SEOUL - Why does Frédéric Caudron show up in the knock-out rounds fort he big money tomorrow, Friday and must Jérémy Bury take his bags and leave? And why can Torbjörn Blomdahl take his place in the last eight, after one splendid match and two lesser performances, and is Jérémy Bury on a plane to France after three great matches? Wasn't it all about a bit of luck, bad luck, hope and illusion on the final day of qualifications?
Frédéric Caudron, the pragmatist, will conclude, of course, that he wasn't lucky at all with a wonderful final win, 40-39 (run 12). And that Jérémy Bury didn't have bad luck because he didn't make his last carom. But to be honest, it's really true that the Frenchman, a first-class fighter, was just one or two millimetres away from the group win and the Belgian just one millimeter from the elimination? And what a match it was, the contest that decided who was to go on and who had to go home.

Caudron had to win, Bury just needed a draw. That was the position beforehand.

The match balanced to 27-25 in the thirteenth inning. Then, Caudron ran a 12 to 39 and missed his last. And Bury replied with 9 for a 39-35 score. Caudron then finished flawlessly in the sixteenth. Bury had to make five from the spots, a thrilling scenario for the audience who love drama and suspense. The Frenchman came to a score of four, had the last (a 'harmonica') for the taking, but his cue ball just came a little too straight off the third cushion to score.

So Bury was eliminated with four match points. How close was he yet to finish second? Four caroms more than Jin-Pyo Hong, four innings more: the difference was marginal: 1.885 for the Korean, 1.859 for the Frenchman. The winner and number two of the group: Caudron and... Jin-Pyo Hong, the man who beat Caudron in the mutual battle.

The same relief as for Caudron, was seen for Torbjörn Blomdahl, after his match against Choong-Bok Lee, when he escaped as by a miracle. The Swede had lost his bump with Lee, title defender in the LG U + Cup, in a thrilling finish by two points. The showdown on the other billiard, between Haeng-Jik Kim and Nguyen Quoc Nguyen, was the glimmer of hope for Blomdahl. The Vietnamese, eliminated after two losses, played out on 40-37. Haeng-Jik Kim needed a draw, made the break shot, but missed his second point. Torbjörn Blomdahl, so close to an exit, was saved by the bell and... by a small, unlucky kiss.

Five Europeans and three Koreans show up in the final round with eight players: Dick Jaspers, Marco Zanetti, Nikos Polychronopoulos, Torbjörn Blomdahl and as the last, Frédéric Caudron. For the Koreans: Choong-Bok Lee, Dong-Koong Kang and the last Jin-Pyo Hong.

The quarterfinal schedule:

4.00 pm (West European time):
Torbjörn Blomdahl-Choong-Bok Lee
Dong-Koong Kang-Jin-Pyo Hong

6.00 PM:
Dick Jaspers-Marco Zanetti
Nikos Polychronopoulos-Frédéric Caudron.

The first prizes have been divided: for the four winners, at least 7.500 euros, for the numbers two at least 6.800 euros. Torbjörn Blomdahl already took 1.500 for his highest run of 18, Marco Zanetti also 1.500 for the best average in the preliminary rounds. But in the finals the bigger money awaits, like the 60.000 euros for the winner.

Choong-Bok Lee, who received the main prize last year, remained undefeated like Dick Jaspers. Dong-Koong Kang and Frédéric Caudron were the other group winners, both with one loss.

The showdown in the last pre-rounds:

Group A:

Choong-Bok Lee-Torbjörn Blomdahl 40-38 in 29

Torbjörn Blomdahl looked on the move to beat Choong-Bok Lee with a run of five shortly before the end. That brought the score to 37-36, but in the final stage it went wrong for the Swede. The Koreans broke through the defense, had an extremely lucky shot and benefited from Blomdahl's last miss. Choong-Bok Lee finished on top with the maximum of match points, Torbjörn Blomdahl couldn't complain about a bit of luck: two match points, nevertheless advanced to the final round.

Nguyen Quoc Nguyen-Haeng-Jik Kim 40-38 in 30

The miss at the end, Haeng-Jik Kim will cost some sleepless nights. Two points away from qualifying, a makeable, but risky position and the chance to force the draw against Nguyen. The kiss loomed, Kim knew it, but het he chose the solution anyway. And it really happened: the cue ball hit the second ball just before he could score. Gone were his chances... and what luck for Torbjörn Blomdahl, so close to the elimination. Haeng-Jik Lee felt the tension already in the match. The Vietnamese Nguyen, not on his best in tournament best, was given thirty innings. The Asian champion of this year (Nguyen) and the former Asian champion (Kim) eventually finished empty-handed.

The final ranking in Group A:
1 Choong-Bok Lee 6-1.538-5
2 Torbjörn Blomdahl 2-1.667-18
3 Haeng-Jik Kim 2-1.338-8
4 Nguyen Quoc Nguyen 2-1.212-10.

Choong-Bok Lee, former winner, unbeaten group winner

Torbjörn Blomdahl, great starting match, bit of luck at the end

Nguyen Quoc Nguyen knocked down Haeng-Jik Kim in a thrilling finish

Group B:

Frédéric Caudron-Jérémy Bury 40-39 in 16

The most heroic match from the qualifications, without a doubt. With varying opportunities for the two former teammates of the magnificent Agipi team and current teammates in La Baule. A fantastic Caudron in the final stage, a phenomenal Bury who came back to one single point from a nearly impossible position. The twelve of Caudron in the last innings (one point away from the finish) and the nine for Bury (resulting in 40-35) were the highlights until the last inning, when the Frenchman showed in his equalizer how close joy and sadness can be in the sport.

Jin-Pyo Hong-Seung-Jin Lee 40-30 in 29

The Korean clash turned out in a deserved winner. Jin-Pyo Hong had already enforced the qualification against Caudron and finished it off against Seung-Jin Lee, the weak brother in the tournament. The score was always in favour of Hong, who took a ten points margin at the end and grapped the win.

The final ranking in Group B:
1 Frédéric Caudron 4-2.085-12
2 Jin-Pyo Hong 4-1.885-11
3 Jérémy Bury 4-1.859-12
4 Seung-Jin Lee 0-0.921-6.

Frédéric Caudron, the winner, Jéreémy Bury, the loser on one point

Jérémy Bury has to return home after a great performance

Jin-Pio Hong, the revelation of the tournament


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