Woodward relishing added pressure as USA dominate opening day of Mosconi Cup

📷 Taka Wu / Matchroom

by Ben Hudd • November 30, 2022

Skyler Woodward is relishing the added pressure after taking on the role of the USA’s vice-captain, having helped his side gain a 3-1 advantage over Europe on the opening day of the Mosconi Cup in Las Vegas.

American fans came out in their numbers at Bally’s Hotel and Casino and the 2,500-strong crowd witnessed a showing of grit and determination from the Stars and Stripes as they constructed a handy overnight lead.

Woodward produced three break and runs in a high-quality encounter against reigning World Pool Masters champion Joshua Filler, a match which included a golden break and saw the American prevail in a tense deciding rack.

“It’s never easy playing Joshua. You must try and take advantage of every mistake even though I did miss the nine one rack. I told myself to keep fighting and pushing and take chances where I can,” Woodward told Sky Sports.

“I told the team that I wanted all the pressure on me. I like the pressure. Me winning that match takes the pressure off them ahead of the last match.

“There was a little pressure off them. They came out loose and I am glad I could get out there and get that point for the USA.

“The table is tight. The side pockets are unbelievable. They’re crazy. I like it. The side pockets are genius. They’re so tough. It’s how top-level pool should be.”

The USA had won the traditional team match for the fourth consecutive year to draw first blood in the contest, before World Cup of Pool champions Francisco Sanchez Ruiz and Alcaide restored parity with an emphatic victory over Oscar Dominguez and Earl Strickland.

Strickland was caught out by the shock clock during a huge turning point in that particular doubles match, only for Woodward to restore the slender American advantage with a hard-fought win over Filler.

Shane van Boening and Tyler Styer stepped up to the plate and delivered a two-point cushion for their side heading into day two, battling through another hill-hill affair against Jayson Shaw and Albin Ouschan.

The Mosconi Cup continues on Thursday evening in Las Vegas, with the famous fans’ choice singles match opening the session live on Sky Sports in the UK and other regional broadcasters from 7pm GMT.

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