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 Posted on Thursday, October 30 2008 @ 07:02:58 UTCby admin
SAPPA 2008 Carlsberg Scottish Open 9-Ball Championships
Styx American Pool Bar
28 Victoria Road
Tel: 01592 265483

Saturday-Sunday 25-26 October 2008

Edinburgh's Cameron Bowes


Pat Holtz won the 2008 Carlsberg Scottish Open 9 Ball Championships with an enthralling 12 racks to 8 victory over Sunderland's Chris Cowie to take the £700 first prize at Styx American Pool Club in Kirkcaldy. A smaller than expected field turned up on the opening day of the event to test their skills but what was lost in quantity was more than made up for in quality of play.

As ever, the tournament was held in 2 parts. First was the Double Elimination phase of the event with the matches being races to 9 in the Winners' Bracket and races to 8 in the Losers' Bracket until 16 players remained - 8 in each bracket. These 16 players would then move on to the Single Elimination phase of the tournament that would give us our winner.

"Read More..." for the details.

Highlights from the early matches included Edinburgh's Chris Fraser's 9-6 victory over the much fancied Fraser Patrick of Glasgow. Another much-anticipated match was that between Falkirk's Michael Valentine and Sunderland's Adam Smith. Smith, a popular figure on the SAPPA Tour since joining last year, had been struggling with a shoulder injury all week that was preventing him from playing certain shots to the standard that he is used to. There had been doubts until the last minute whether he would be even able to play or not. He decided to try his luck but, sadly for the Englishman, his shoulder decided to be at its worse during this match and he was put into the Losers' Bracket with a 9 racks to one loss to Valentine. That is, however, not to take anything away from The Yeti who was stringing racks together with apparent ease and giving potential opponents cause for concern.

Adam Smith playing in his Losers' Bracket match against Edinburgh's Chris "Spanish" Fraser

When the dust settled on Sunday afternoon, however, there were only 16 players left. They were:-





Pat Holtz

Brian Craig

Alec McDowall

Craig Sinclair

Darren Murray

Cameron Bowes

Stevie Capaldi

Fraser Patrick

Clark Smith

Adam Smith

Davey Jack

Greg Alexander

Chris Cowie

Paul McGowan

Michael Valentine

John Owen

The last 16 draw saw each of the 8 Winners’ Bracket qualifiers being drawn against a Losers’ Bracket qualifier and gave us the following matches:-



THE LAST 16 (Losers - £40)

Pat Holtz

10 : 8

Cameron Bowes

Alec McDowall

10 : 3

Craig Sinclair

Darren Murray

10 : 5

Paul McGowan

John Owen

10 : 7

Stevie Capaldi

Greg Alexander

10 : 3

Clark Smith

Davey Jack

10 : 5

Adam Smith

Chris Cowie

10 : 4

Brian Craig

Michael Valentine

10 : 8

Fraser Patrick

Edinburgh's Cameron Bowes came very close to creating one of the shocks of the event, losing 10-8 to Pat Holtz. At one point in the match, Bowes was 7 racks to 4 up on the Scottish number one but Holtz proved too strong in the end. Alec McDowall, the 2007 SPA Scottish 8 Ball Champion, had a relatively easy time of it against SAPPA newcomer Craig Sinclair. Sinclair is going to be one to watch in the future. Darren Murray finally put an end to local player Paul McGowan's excellent run in the event. John Owen and Greg Alexander both caused slight upsets with their victories over Glasgow's Stevie Capaldi and Clark Smith respectively. Davy Jack put Adam Smith out of his ongoing shoulder pain but the English interest continued with Chris Cowie's victory over Aberdeen's Brian Craig.

Paul McGowan in his match against Darren Murray

The match of the round, however, was between Michael Valentine and Fraser Patrick. Valentine was 6-1 and 9-3 up at points in the match but Patrick was not one to be eliminated easily, attempting to stage an amazing comeback. Sadly for Fraser, there was too much work to be done and Valentine managed to scrape his way over the finish line to qualify for the Quarter Finals.

Part of the crowd watching the nail-biting finish of the Valentine - Fraser match




Pat Holtz

10 : 9

Alec McDowall

Darren Murray

10 : 9

John Owen

Greg Alexander

10 : 7

Davey Jack

Chris Cowie

10 : 8

Michael Valentine

The Holtz-McDowall match turned out to be a real nip and tuck battle between a former Scottish 9 Ball Champion, Holtz, and the reigning SPA Scottish 8 Ball Champion, McDowall. At one point, McDowall was 9-6 down but showed his battling abilities to bring the match to 9-9 and force a deciding rack but it was Holtz who managed to get the last word in and progress to the Semi Finals. Darren Murray was made to fight all the way by John Owen, a top 8 Ball player who only plays 9 Ball at the Scottish Championships. At one point, Murray was 8-5 up on Owen when he decided to play a questionable combination shot, which was missed allowing Owen back to the table. In the end Murray managed to get over the line and was more than a little relieved to progress.

Arbroath's Davy Jack in action

The all-Arbroath match between friends and travelling companions Greg Alexander and Davy Jack was played in good humour and started off well for Jack who raced into leads of 4-0 and 5-1 only for Alexander to claw his way back into the match. Neither player played to their potential with silly mistakes through the match but it was Greg who managed to get past his friend and progress to his first Scottish Championship Semi Final.

The match between Chris Cowie and Michael Valentine turned into an epic battle. Valentine found himself 7-5 and 8-6 down and managed to battle back to 8-8 before scratching on the break in the 17th game, leaving an easy combination on the 9-ball for Cowie to convert and get on the hill. One game later and the Englishman had progressed the the Semi Finals.

Chris Cowie at the table in his Quarter Final match against Michael Valentine



THE SEMI FINALS (Losers - £150)

Pat Holtz

11 : 8

Darren Murray

Chris Cowie

11 : 10

Greg Alexander

The Holtz-Murray match started off well for Murray, jumping out to a 3-1 lead, only to see Holtz peg his way back into the match. Murray kept his sense of determination throughout the match but he seemed to be under the impression that the "Pool Gods" were against him in this match. This did not deter him from putting up a fight. Sadly for Murray, it was not to be as Holtz proved to be too strong and progressed to his second Scottish Championship Final in 3 years.

Darren Murray in action during his Semi Final

It was impossible to predict the winner of the second Semi Final, even during the 21st and final rack of the match. Alexander had been playing well throughout the match but started to struggle with the table conditions a little in the later stages. On the other side of the score-sheet, however, Cowie's immense break was not yielding him any results as balls would roll anywhere but towards any of the pockets. Even during the final rack of the match, both players had their chances with Alexander hanging a paper-thin cut on the 8-ball near the jaws of the pocket, allowing Cowie to pocket the last 2 balls to progress to the Final.

Greg Alexander in his Semi Final

This brought us a race-to-12 final between 2 of the most consistent players over the whole weekend.



WINNER - £700

RUNNER-UP - £320

The finalists of the 2008 Carlsberg Scottish Open 9 Ball Championships - Pat Holtz (left) and Chris Cowie

Rack 1
Chris won the lag, made a ball on the break and started to run the table out until he missed a three-quarter length 7-ball. Holtz makes the 7 but has no position on the 8-ball. Holtz plays safe but Cowie is unable to return the safety allowing Holtz to win the first rack.

Score: Pat Holtz 1 – 0 Chris Cowie

Rack 2
A good break from Holtz pockets 2 balls. Some luck getting position on the 2 and 3 allows the first break and run-out of the match.

Score: Pat Holtz 2 - 0 Chris Cowie

Rack 3
Holtz has a dry break this time but leaves no shot for Cowie. Cowie plays an excellent safety snookering Holtz on the object ball. A foul from Holtz gives Cowie ball in hand, with which he sets an even more difficult snooker but Holtz manages to escape brilliantly. The ensuing safety battle is won by Holtz who runs the table up to the 8-ball but leaves himself tight on the rail. Holtz misses the 8-ball and Cowie pockets the last 2 balls to take his first rack of the final.

Score: Pat Holtz 2 - 1 Chris Cowie

Rack 4
Cowie unleashes a crushing break and makes a ball. He has tough shape on the 1-ball but makes it look easy. An unfortunate miss-cue on the 4-ball allows Holtz back in to run out the rack.

Score: Pat Holtz 3 - 1 Chris Cowie

Pat Holtz playing in the final

Rack 5
Holtz makes a ball off the break but has no shot on the 1-ball. This does not stop him as he shows his prowess with the jump cue, easily pocketing the 1-ball however he has no real position on the 3-ball. A foul from Cowie from a Holtz safety gives Holtz a shot at a 3-9 combination to win the rack and extend his lead.

Score: Pat Holtz 4 - 1 Chris Cowie

Rack 6
Holtz makes a ball on the break but loses the cueball down table. His attempt to once again jump his way out of trouble leads to a foul, allowing Cowie to the table but a bad contact on the 6-ball makes him miss the shot and Holtz clears the table to continue extending his lead.

Score: Pat Holtz 5 - 1 Chris Cowie

Rack 7
Holtz makes a ball on the break but misses a semi-difficult shot on the 1-ball. Cowie can't see the 1-ball so jumps but leaves Holtz the possibility of a 1-6 combination. Holtz proceeds to pocket the 6-ball, but fails to contact the 1-ball first! Cowie clears the table with ball in hand to close the gap.

Score: Pat Holtz 5 - 2 Chris Cowie

Rack 8
Another big break from Cowie yeilds a ball and position on the 1-ball, allowing him to clear the table to get anotehr rack back.

Score: Pat Holtz 5 - 3 Chris Cowie

Rack 9
Another big break from Cowie making a ball but he loses the cueball. He plays an excellent shot with the back end of the cue jacked-up to make the 1-ball but then feels that safety is better by locking Holtz up in a snooker. Holtz escapes only for Cowie to fail in trying to lay another snooker, giving Holtz a shot at the 3-ball, which he pockets only to hang the 4-ball. Cowie pockets the 4 and 5 but has no position on the 6-ball, which he jumps to hit. This time, it is Cowie's turn to leave an open shot but Holtz cannot convert it into a rack win by missing the 7. Cowie finally pockets the final 3 balls to take the rack and close the gap to one rack.

Score: Pat Holtz 5 - 4 Chris Cowie

Rack 10
Cowie's huge break makes a ball and leaves him in perfect position to run the rack out, tying the match score up.

Score: Pat Holtz 5 - 5 Chris Cowie

Rack 11
Cowie scratches on the break. A to-and-fro safety exchange is won by Cowie after a Holtz positional mistake. Cowie runs the table out to take the lead for the first time in the match.

Score: Pat Holtz 5 - 6 Chris Cowie

Rack 12
Cowie's huge break fails him when nothing goes in. A brief safety battle is won by Holtz after a scratch from Cowie. Holtz runs the table to tie the scores up again.

Score: Pat Holtz 6 - 6 Chris Cowie

Pat Holtz looks on as Chris Cowie plays a shot in the final

Rack 13
Holtz makes a ball on the break but leaves himself with a tough shot on the 1-ball. Holtz misses the 1-ball but leaves Cowie a table-length jump shot, which he makes and runs the table out to re-take the lead.

Score: Pat Holtz 6 - 7 Chris Cowie

Rack 14
A dry break from Cowie allows Holtz to keep the pressure on Cowie with an excellent finish.

Score: Pat Holtz 7 - 7 Chris Cowie

Rack 15
A ball on the break for Holtz but no shot at the object ball leads to a safety battle which is won by Cowie who runs the rack out.

Score: Pat Holtz 7 - 8 Chris Cowie

Rack 16
Cowie makes a ball on the break and is looking good to extend his lead until he scratches on the 7-ball, leaving Holtz with 2 easy shots to once again tie the score up.

Score: Pat Holtz 8 - 8 Chris Cowie

Rack 17
Holtz makes a ball on the break and continues to run the rack out to re-take the lead once again.

Score: Pat Holtz 9 - 8 Chris Cowie

Rack 18
Holtz makes 2 balls from the break but has no attacking shot on the 2-ball. Holtz plays a good safety, only to see Cowie pocket the 2-ball and get shape on the 3-ball with what some spectators called "the best jump shot they had seen in ages." Sadly for Cowie, the tight cut pockets mean that he fails to capitalise, allowing Holtz to run the rest of the rack out.

Score: Pat Holtz 10 - 8 Chris Cowie

Chris Cowie playing a jump shot

Rack 19
Holtz gets a ball in on the break but fails to pocket the 1-ball. Cowie needs to play safe on the 4-ball after an excellent jump shot to pocket the 3, however, Holtz flukes a snooker which Cowie fails to escape from, allowing Holtz to clear the rack with ball-in-hand.

Score: Pat Holtz 11 - 8 Chris Cowie

Rack 20
Holtz makes a ball with his final break of the match and plays a couple of excellent shots on the way to clearing the rack to take the title.

Final Score: Pat Holtz 11 - 8 Chris Cowie




Pat Holtz

11 : 8

Chris Cowie

Chris Cowie (left) receiving his runner's up prize from Mike Keddie of Styx

An obviously delighted Pat Holtz (right) receives the Scottish Open Championship Trophy and his prize money from Mike Keddie of Styx

It was, as ever, a fantastic weekend and there are a number of people that have to be thanked:-

  • To all the players who travelled from far and wide.
  • To Ross McInnes, Tam Talent and Martin Hughes for organising and running another fantastic Scottish Championships.
  • To Carlsberg for once again sponsoring the Scottish 9-Ball Championships.
  • And finally, to Mario and all his staff at Styx for being such great hosts and putting up with us all weekend. As ever, they all went above and beyond the call of duty and their hard work is very much appreciated.

    We look forward to seeing you all next year!

    You can see the Full Tournament Chart by clicking on the link.

    Pat Holtz - 2008 Carlsberg Scottish Open 9 Ball Champion





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    Pat Holtz

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