Friday, May 29, 2009

Kelly Fisher Shows Her Stuff

The surprise story in the Philippine Open is Kelly Fisher, and how she has stood toe-to-toe with the men and come out ahead and unbeaten – so far.

The other surprise is how the Indonesians are showing that they have the stuff to contend with the best in the world. Ricky Yang and Rudi Susanto, the only bets from Indonesia, are unbeaten so far.

Fisher, a former world 9-Ball women’s champion, outclassed Gabe Owen, 9-3, to enter the fourth round of the winner’s bracket. The Briton jumped the gun early on the American, racing to an 8-1 lead and never looking back.

Ricky Yang humbled Satoshi Kawabata 9-6, in a match televised all over Asia by ESPN Star Sports. He raced to a 6-2 lead before the Japanese could mount a comeback that proved too late.

In a match that went down the wire, Susanto, a 26-year-old entering his first major international tournament, beat US No. 1 Shane van Boening. It was his second big scalp having beaten Filipino Marlon Manalo a round earlier.

The three now join Chang Pei Wei and Lu Hui Chan of Chinese Taipei, Demosthenes Pulpul of the Philippines, Marcus Chamat of Finland, and Radoslaw Babica of Poland, as the only unbeaten players in this event that is billed as the first in the WPA World-Ranking Tour this year.

Babica recorded one of the day’s major upsets when he toppled world 10-ball champion Darren Appleton, 9-6. The Pole is showing that his top 16 WPA ranking is no fluke.

But the spotlight on Day 3 belonged clearly to Fisher, who is making an even bigger impression than Jasmin Ouschan’s exploits in the World Ten Ball Championship here in Manila last October.

“I had almost a full day of rest and to me, it was a privilege,” said Fisher. “I came out fully recharged and that helped my game a bit.”

Fisher is the only female player left from the original six entered in the 64-player field. The latest casualty among the women was Karen Corr, the multi-titled player from Ireland.

Corr was booted out by the world No.1 Ralf Souquet, 9-2.

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