Defending champion Choi Won-jun (45) returned to the top of the professional billiards PBA after a whopping 1538 days.
Choi won the final of the ‘NH Tad PBA Championship’, the sixth tour of the Professional Billiards PBA-LPBA 2023-24 season, with a set score of 4-2 (15-5 14-15 10-15 15-3 15-9 15-2) over Birole Wimaz (Turkiye-Welcome Savings Bank) at the Goyang Kintex PBA Stadium in Goyang City, Gyeonggi Province, on August 15.
Choi, who lifted the trophy in the third event of the 2019-20 season, the Welcome Savings Bank Welbanc Championship, on August 30, 2019, the first day of the PBA’s inaugural season, hasn’t won a title in four years and two months – a whopping 1,538 days to be exact.
Choi also became the eighth player in PBA history to win multiple titles. He is only the third Korean player to win more than one title after Cho Jae-ho (three) and Kang Dong-gung (two). With the first-place prize of 100 million won, Choi increased his season prize pool to 16.5 million won, up from 6.5 million won, and moved into fifth place on the money list.
Choi reached the final in dramatic fashion, defeating Choi Sung-won in a full-set thriller in the quarterfinals earlier in the day, who was looking for his second straight tour title. Wimaz also punched his ticket to the final with a 4-2 win over Noh Byung Chan in the quarterfinals.
It was Choi Won-joon who had the last laugh in the final. Choi was hitless through the first three innings of the first set, but from the fourth inning onward, he went on a long hitting spree. A five-run fourth inning was followed by a high-scoring six-run fifth inning, and finally a four-run sixth inning to take the first set in just 17 minutes.
Wimazu’s comeback came in games two and three. In the second set, Wimaj edged Choi 15-14 in a hard-fought battle that went to 11 games. His high run was only four points in the fifth inning, but he scored in every inning except the third and fourth on his way to the eleventh.
In the third set, Wimaz outlasted Choi 15-10 to take the set 2-1. A high run of eight points in the second inning proved decisive. Wonjun Choi fought back hard and tied the game at 10-10 in the fifth. However, Wimaz scored five points in the sixth inning, including a two-point bank shot, to close out the set.
However, the goddess of victory was in Choi’s favor. Choi’s focus came alive in the fourth set. He scored eight points in the first, one in the second, and six in the third to close out the fourth set 15-3 in just three innings. In the fifth set, Choi continued to pour it on, scoring four in the first, three in the third, and six in the fourth to close the gap to WIMAZ 15-9.
Completely in control, Choi dominated the sixth set, closing it out with a 15-2 victory to lift the long-awaited trophy. After clinching the title, Choi bowed his head for a moment and looked up. Hot tears poured from his eyes as he quenched his thirst for victory. 아톰카지노 도메인