Isaac defends title to become a fantastic three times Champion
filed on Monday, May 30, 2016. 19:07 PT/USA
Sargon Isaac has successfully defended his United States National Snooker Championship title by defeating Ahmed Aly Elsayed in the 2016 final at the 147 Snooker Club in Houston, Texas, to become a three times Champion.
The 30-year-old first won the title back in 2012, though lost in the final in the following year and was heavily defeated in the semifinals in 2014, but over the past two Championships he has stepped up to the mark and has outperformed all of his closest rivals.
As the defending champion and number one seed he was certainly the player to beat this year. He eased through his Group A matches with the loss of just one frame, was a very convincing 4-0 quarterfinal winner against Cheang Ciing Yoo, and although the alarm bells would have started to ring when he fell 2-0 behind to Raymond Fung in the semifinals, he tenaciously came back to run out a comfortable 4-2 winner.
Number three seed Aly played impressively and composed throughout this year's Championship, and so would have gone into the match feeling positive that he could take revenge for last year's final defeat and win a fourth title.
The 36-year-old from Brooklyn, New York, who last tasted success back in 2011 when he won his third title in succession, breezed through his Group C matches for the loss of just one frame, was a comfortable 4-1 winner over Rizwan Khan in the quarterfinals, and came through a testing semifinal 4-2 against the twice former champion, Ajeya Prabhakar.
The 2016 United States National Snooker Champion, Sargon Isaac
Photo © SnookerUSA.com
Watching the final was the veteran professional pool star and fabulous trick-shot artist Mike Massey, who himself was runner-up in this Championship back in 1993.
Isaac took his earlier form straight into the final on this Memorial Day Monday holiday as he raced away with the first frame, but Aly managed to steady the ship and seal a very good frame two and a close match seemed to be a real prospect.
Last year's final was closer than the 5-3 scoreline suggested as Aly failed to take his chances, and while he dropped the third frame he should have drawn level after he was presented with a golden opportunity for 2-2 going into the mid-session interval. He pocketed the final blue and pink balls but could not make the black, and Isaac was then incredibly fortunate to fluke it for a 3-1 advantage.
Aly looked totally dejected at this point as the match resumed after the mid-session interval, and it was evident that the Championship was slipping away from him as a determined Isaac grew ever stronger.
Isaac confidently banked frame five to go on-the-hill, and a steely run of 56 in the following frame resulted in a frame concession from Aly and a 5-1 title victory for the Californian.
The Final result as follows:
||Sargon Isaac (California) 1
|| 5 - 1
||Ahmed Aly Elsayed (New York) 3
|Frame scores and 30+ breaks in brackets (Isaac's score stated first):
1st. 71-12 2nd. 34-62 3rd. 63-28 4th. 67-57(37) 5th. 61-8 6th. 87(56)-4
Both Isaac and Aly have now gained automatic selection to represent the United States in the Men's Event of this year's International Billiards & Snooker Federation (IBSF) World Snooker Championships, with the IBSF yet to announce the hosts and dates for this year's Championships. The winner of this event will be awarded a two-year professional World Snooker Tour card from the 2017-18 season.
Alan Morris, the Executive Director of the United States Snooker Association (USSA), said: "On behalf of the Board of the USSA I would like to offer our appreciation to everyone who made this Championship possible, particularly to Bob Jewett for his organization, and a special thank you goes to the players who came from all across the country, and to Mr. Mani Hassan, the proprietor of the 147 Snooker Club, who has been a wonderful host who continues to enthusiastically support the sport of snooker in the United States.
"We look forward to gathering again next year for the 2017 Championship at the beautiful New York Athletic Club in Manhattan, for what I know will be another truly magnificent snooker occasion."
As the 2015-16 snooker season concludes in the United States, the USSA would also like to thank its sponsors, Saluc, who manufacture the Aramith Tournament Champion snooker balls, Sterling Gaming and the Tweeten Fibre Co., who have all supported the association this season.