The men have known each other for years, and the mutual respect was apparent as the match got underway with a handshake and smiles before the lag.
Then things got serious on the table as Van Boening and Hendrickson, the house professional at Fargo Billiards, went to work.
Van Boening is undisputedly one of the best players in the U.S. and, therefore, expected to grind through a tough field to make it to the finals of a tournament. But after losing in the first round, 7-9, to Taylor Anderson, Van Boening had to take the long road to the finals. He posted wins over: Steve Register, 9-2; Kyle Pepin, 9-1; Greg Harada Jr., 9-4; Chris McDaniel, 9-5; Shane McMinn, 9-5; Thorsten Hohmann, 9-6; Francisco Bustamante, 9-8; Amar Kang, 9-8; Josh Roberts, 9-6; and Jesse Bowman, 9-4.
Hendrickson, on the other hand, was a long shot to make it into the final’s arena of the 63-player field. In his path through the right side of the bracket, Hendrickson, of Fargo, N.D., beat: Kelli Chuberko, 9-4; Hunter Lombardo, 9-6; Brandon Shuff, 9-6; Thorsten Hohmann, 9-8; and Josh Roberts, 9-5; and Jesse Bowman, 9-8.
The US Open 8-Ball Championship is a true open tournament. Any player willing to put up the entry fee is allowed to play and the championships traditionally attract the top players in the world. The tournament is being played with Cyclop balls on 7-foot Diamond tables covered with Simonis Cloth.
The final standings in the tournament were:
1. Shane Van Boening, South Dakota
2. Rory Hendrickson, North Dakota
3. Jesse Bowman, Illinois
4. Josh Roberts, South Carolina
5. Mike Dechaine, Waterville, Maine
6. Amar Kang, California
7. Francisco Bustamante, California
8. Brandon Shuff, North Carolina
9. Corey Deuel, California
10. Vilmos Foldes, California
11. Thorsten Hohmann, Florida
12. Rodney Morris, California
13. Oscar Dominguez, California
14. Shane McMinn, Tennessee
15. Richie Orem, Alaska
16. John Schmidt, California
The 2016 US Open 8-Ball & 10-Ball Championships were held in conjunction with the 40th BCAPL National Championships, which is taking place through July 30 at The Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. The event features more than 5,000 amateur players representing 47 states, nine Canadian provinces and 11 countries, competing in approximately 40 divisions, on 300 Diamond pool tables. The annual tournament will also include about 50 exhibitors. The Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino is the official host venue. Other sponsors include Viking, Kamui, Omega Billiards, Cyclop, Diamond, Simonis, and Predator.
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