2016 Winmau World Masters – Day One

Updated: December 1, 2016

The first day of the Winmau World Masters proved very disappointing for the US contingent, with 2016 National Youth Champion Dominik Pundt the only player to record more than one match victory on the day.  Despite this, everybody did us proud, in particular, our two youths.

After seeing off the initial challenge of Belgian Gianni Klaasse, Dominik followed with another fine win (over Switzerland’s Eric Vonrufs) as he made his way to the Group 3 Quarter-Final.  There, he met Gijsbert van Malsen (Netherlands), one of five Dutch boys to reach the Group 3 Quarters!  The 4-1 scoreline didn’t truly reflect the competitive nature of the match, but it was van Malsen who advanced.  Over in the girls’ bracket, Kaylee Roy started with a stunning 4-0 demolition of the Czech Republic’s Barbora Hospodarska.  Unfortunately, England’s Nicolle Bridgway then stopped young Kaylee from adding to her account.

In an event like the World Masters, it is easy to say that there are no “easy” matches.  Of course, some are more difficult than others, and that was clearly the situation in the women’s section!  After dispatching Valentina Vasilyeva (Russia) 4-0, Sandy Hudson had the misfortune to run into Sharon Prins.  Sharon came into this event as World #9, and fully justified her position as she ended Sandy’s chances with a powerful display.  Lisa Ayers didn’t have any luck either; a 4-0 win against Iceland’s Ingibjorg Magnusdottir pitched her against 10-times World Champion Trina Gulliver MBE!  Lisa took Trina to a deciding leg, but it wasn’t to be.

It wasn’t to be for Larry Butler either.  A year ago, Larry produced some scintillating stuff on his way to the men’s final, and we had high hopes of him repeating that effort – perhaps even going one better?  England’s Barry Lynn made sure it wasn’t going to happen, and Larry fell at the first hurdle.  Jim Widmayer managed to go one better, but Dutchman Richard Hulzinga ensured that Jimmy would be joining Larry on the sidelines.  Down in Group 7, Elliot Milk cruised into his Group Quarter-Final, but he too failed to add a second win.  Northern Ireland’s Darren Clifford was to advance.

National 501 Champion Chris Lim grabbed his first victory on English soil with a hard-fought 3-2 triumph over Jason Heaver, but Heaver’s fellow Englishman Danny Key was too strong, and Chris was out.  Like Lim, Chattanooga’s Joe Chaney put out an Englishman – this time, Kevin Leadenham – but Dawson Murschell made the long trip from Canada worthwhile, and we were down to one.  Willard Bruguier was another American making his English debut, and after a first-round defeat the previous day, was keen to get a win or two under his belt.  Facing yet another Dutchman (Jaimy van Bavel), Bruguier made a successful start to the day.  Sadly, he couldn’t build on that, and the experienced Pole Krzysztof Ratajski moved on.

Again, we can be proud of everyone, and they all gave 110%, but we just need a little good fortune.  The important thing is that more Americans are getting more chances to compete internationally than ever before, and that IS going to pay off at some point!

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