Gray goes head to head with a leg­end

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Sport -

Mark Gray is go­ing head to head with a pool leg­end for a place in the Mosconi Cup.

The player who tops the Euro­pean rank­ings will qual­ify to take on­the United States at Alexan­dra Palace in De­cem­ber and Gray has hadh is lead slashed to three points by Niels Fei­jen fol­low­ing the lat­est Euro­pean Tour event in Rot­ter­dam.

Gray went into that tour­na­ment with a 17-point lead but while he could only man­age fifth place, Fei­jen went on to win it.

The next event on the Euro­pean tourist he Leende Open that gets un­der­way in Hol­land on Septem­ber 29 and for Gray, the equa­tion is sim­ple.

The 43 year- old from Bourne said: “I have to match Niels’ per­for­mance to fin­ish top of the rank­ings.

“It’s a big ask. Niels is win­ning every­thing at the mo­ment. He is a for­mer world cham­pion and when­ever I play him I feel he is a slight favourite.

“He has a big break and has more pool knowhow than me.”

Fei­jen has played pool through­out his cue sports ca­reer, while Gray comes from a snooker back­ground.

He said: “The high­est I reached in the snooker rank­ings was 67 in the world and while I could prob­a­bly make a liv­ing at snooker now, it was harder nine or 10 years ago.

“There weren’t any spon­sors around then and so there wasn’t as much money in the sport.”

Gray has been a suc­cess­ful con­vert to pool.

He’s won six Euro­pean Tour events and twice been part of a Mosconi Cup-win­ning team, in 2008and2014.

Gray said :“Every year, the Mos co ni Cup is the goal. The money isn’ t great on the pool tour and the Mosconi Cup is the best pay-day and the big­gest tour­na­ment.”

If he doesn’t qual­ify for the Mos co ni Cup in Hol­land, Gray still has a chance.

He said: “I can still qual­ify through the World Tour events. It’s up to me whether or not I want to do the trav­el­ling and if there’s a chance of qual­i­fy­ing for the Mosconi Cup, I prob­a­bly would.

“There are also two wild cards awarded every year.

“I have been very con­sis­tent this sea­son and I would like to think I de­serve a wild card if I don’t qual­ify out­right.

“I’ m No 1 in the UK and the Euro­pean Tour.”

Mark Gray.

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