Former world champion Alex Pagulayan bagged his first major title this year after topping the 2017 US Open 8-Ball Championship held at the Griff’s Activity Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The 39-year old Filipino cue master posted a thrilling 10-9 come-from-behind win over American Shane Van Boening in the championship round of the tournament sanctioned by the World Pool-Billiard Association.
Van Boening capitalized on Pagulayan’s miscues in the early goings to jump to a comfortable 7-2 lead.
But Pagulayan found his rhythm just right in time to mount a strong 7-2 run to tie the game at 9-all. The American player actually nearly bagged the title but Van Boening scratched the ball in the deciding rack allowing Pagulayan to run out the table.
Pagulayan took home the $13,500 top purse—his biggest prize so far this year while Van Boening settled for the $7,400 consolation prize.
Going into the finals, Pagulayan defeated Danny Stone (8-6), Skyler Woodward (8-2), Denis Grabe (8-3), Lee Vann Corteza (8-4) and Dennis Orcollo (8-6).
Orcollo finished third overall for $4,500 while Corteza fourth for $2,800.
The victory ended Pagulayan’s title drought in major events this season.
Last month, he placed fourth in the 2017 US Open 10-Ball Championship held at the same venue.
Pagulayan had runner-up finishes in the Derby City Classic One-Pocket Division, West Coast 10-Ball Pro Challenge and West Coast One-Pocket Challenge, fifth in the World Pool Masters and ninth in the World Cup of Pool.
The win also served as a fitting revenge following the loss of Warren Kiamco to Van Boening in the finals of the 2017 US Open 10-Ball Championship.