LEE Van Corteza took home his first major title in three years when he beat Fu Che Wei of Chinese Taipei, 11-6, on Sunday to become the second straight Filipino to win the WPA China Open crown in Shanghai.
Corteza won the US$40,000 top prize by beating Fu, who had earlier derailed Dennis Orcollo’s bid for a second successive title in the tournament via an 11-8 win in the round-of-16.
It was a sweet victory for Corteza, who have not won a major tournament since 2010 when he won the US Open 10-ball Championships.
“For me this means a lot to win this tournament. It’s been three years since I won a big tournament,” said Corteza in an interview with WPA media officer Ted Lerner after the match.
“And the way I won this, playing really well and of course I get a few lucky rolls, this is going to give me a lot of confidence in the coming months. This is a big win for my career.
Corteza opened a 4-1 lead and stayed in command the entire match.
“I tried not to be under pressure and I really enjoyed myself in this match. That was one of the keys today. I was relaxed. And that also helped me to stay focused the whole time,” Corteza said.
Corteza beat Omar Al Shaheen of Kuwait, 11-3, in the semifinals after defeating Albin Ouschan of Austria and Ko Pin Yi in the earlier rounds.
Corteza went undefeated in the preliminaries where he beat Nikolaos Malaj and Do The Kien in Group F.