BRUGES OPEN INTERNATIONAL. FEBRUARY 2008

An event I always look forward to, I love Bruges and its great to see all my friends there.

It was a difficult build up to this event, it was only 5 weeks after my surgery and I hadnt practiced, so not the best preparation for a major event!!!  I got to Belgium early on the Wednesday and spent the day with Kurt and his family which was very enjoyable and met his lovely little Daughter Ynske, for the first time, I promised to learn some Flemish for next year as I refuse to have a 3 year old speaking to me in a different language to their first language!!!!  The draw was done that night.

My first event was 8 Ball, at 10am on Thursday.  I didnt know what to expect but from the first ball I felt great.  I won my five matches and topped my group, won my Quarter Final and Semi Final quite easily also. Then I was in another Bruges Final, playing not fot the first time, Kurt deKlerck.  I had played very well throughout but missed a couple of early chances and that cost me, Kurt played really well and was a deserved winner.  I was a little annoyed not to have played better in the final but absolutely delighted to have played so well with my “new eyes”!!!

Next was my favourite event, 9 Ball.  My first match was against against Craig Welsh from Wales, I think this was the best match I ever played I won 7-0 and I dont think I missed a ball in the whole match.  Next was Karl Read from England, a very difficult opponent that for some reason I struggle against, I started great, like the last match was 6-2 ahead but somehow I lost 7-6.  For the rest of the day I really stuggled and just managed to get out of the group whether it was mental or not I am not sure but my eyes were very sore.  The poor finish to the group meant I played Kurt in the Quarter Final, a bit earlier than we both expected!!!.

The quarter final was on Sunday morning , I had slept well and my eyes were fine.  I lost the first couple of racks but got back in the game and eventually won quite easily, Kurt didnt play well and it was not one of our better matches but any win against Kurt in Belgium is an excellent result.

In the Semi Final I played Karl Read, he played incredibly well and won easily he didnt miss much but was playing extremely slow and it seemed like a year between visits, this continued in the final where he played Scotland’s Matt Duffy. Karl won the title and as I said he played great but the slow play is a bit unacceptable in my opinion.