Champion Queenstown pool player Simon Singleton has finished runner-up in a world-ranking tournament in Auckland.
The 36-year-old was second to Aussie Michael Cacciola in the 9-ball and ninth in the 10-ball at the Oceania championship – the most prestigious pool event New Zealand’s hosted.
In the 9-ball, he beat gun young Aucklander Sullivan Clark twice – the 21-year-old earlier beat him in both the 10-ball and 9-ball nationals, where he finished third and fourth, respectively.
Singleton says he was “pretty proud” of his latest 9-ball result, especially as he’s only been playing 9-ball and 10-ball for two years, and he hadn’t been practising for it.
“It’s a lot harder [than 8-ball].”
He notes that the tables are bigger and the cue ball’s also a different size and weight, “so the angles change”.
In June, Singleton represented NZ alongside Auckland’s Matt Edwards in the World Cup of Pool, in his native England, which was also a 9-ball tournament.
Unfortunately the pair lost their first game, against Greece, who he says played “pretty much perfect pool”
However he didn’t feel out of place, and enjoyed the experience of mixing with the world’s best players for six days.
After returning he NZ, he says he got sick, and after working non-stop for a month was “mentally shattered” by the time he got to the 10-ball/9-ball nationals.
His results also dropped his NZ ranking to third, so he’ll miss out on going to the China Open next month, after going last year.
Singleton says that overall he’s improved this year, “but my results haven’t reflected that at times”.
He’s now switching back to 8-ball, which he’s more familiar with, to defend two national titles in Auckland late next month and in Dunedin in late October.
“It will be good to just let everyone know that I’m still around on the small table, too.”
– PHILIP CHANDLER