Photo credit: JP Parmentier/Matchroom Multi Sport
Team USA Captain Jeremy Jones named Skyler Woodward as his first “wildcard pick” for this year’s Mosconi Cup team. The decision was a bit of a no-brainer as Woodward has been Team USA’s best player the past two years, leading his team to back-to-back Cup victories, and securing consecutive MVP awards in the process.
“He has been a winner for a long time, he is winning on bigger stages and trending in a great direction,” said Jones. “I’m also leaning on him to bring a bit of a leadership role with his training and his personality.”
Woodward pocketed the winning 9-ball in last year’s Mosconi Cup, and now joins automatic qualifier Justin Bergman on Team USA. Jones is expected to name three more wildcard picks before the end of September.
“We expected him to be a part of the team. Last year, he had talked about playing Joshua Filler all week and we put him in that spot for the final day. I was on several teams playing and we had a lot of good victories, but a lot of close ones. I was in some situations where it was almost hard to find a player who was looking for that moment sometimes, because it is a huge moment.”
This will be Woodward’s sixth time representing Team USA, assuming the event, scheduled for Dec. 1-4 at Alexandra Palace in London, is able to take place.
“It is an unbelievable feeling to make the Mosconi Cup. It is the greatest pool event of the year and just to make the team and represent my country is an amazing feeling,” said Woodward. “I like the environment and the crowd; it pumps me up and makes me want to play my best and make sure I am in top form.
“The first win, two years ago in London, it felt like the best win of my life. Winning it twice was sweet, but now if we can win it three times would be great. I have played five times and lost the first three and you wonder if we will ever win again, so winning that first one was the best feeling,” added Woodward.
According to Matchroom, they are still hopeful and determined the Mosconi Cup will take place this year. They’re in discussions with the relevant organizations and personnel to stay up-to-date. Matchroom indicated their highest priority is the safety of everyone connected with the event, and that they are working hard to explore every avenue to make the event happen.
Visit http://www.matchroompool.com/mosconi-cup/ for more info.