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Masters title is goldrush with Jean, Glenn, Jean Paul and Sam


Published by frits bakker

© Ton Smilde compilation
The four final players for the Masters title: Jean van Erp, Glenn Hofman, Jean van Erp and Glenn Hofman

BERLICUM - The all-time champion will miss the final gala at the Jumbo Masters, Sunday at the Benelux theater in Berlicum. The new laureate as the Dutch champion and successor to Dick Jaspers in three-cushion on Sunday comes from the foursome with Jean van Erp, Glenn Hofman, Jean Paul de Bruijn and Sam van Etten, two of these players have been on the highest stage once before. For Dick Jaspers, the Masters event ended this Saturday afternoon in a capricious battle with Jean van Erp. The North Holland young player Sam van Etten and the Hague-based Glenn Hofman make a first throw for gold. The remarkable fact about this Dutch battle for the title is that Dick Jaspers did not qualify for the World championship for nation teams in Viersen for the first time in years. However, Jeffrey Jorissen, who was eliminated by Glenn Hofman, he has already been selected. The candidate for second man in the orange team comes from Glenn Hofman and Jean Paul de Bruijn.

Glenn Hofman and Sam van Etten, of the younger generation, were among the greats in the Jumbo Masters in Berlicum this year. Glenn Hofman was a sensation in those four, although he lost his first game against Joey de Kok. The Hague player, often capable of stunt work, came out of 2023 with an impressive boost when he made it to the podium in the Sharm El Sheikh World Cup at the end of the year.

Sam van Etten has been told for some time that his big breakthrough on the big stage was the victory over Marco Zanetti in the last World Cup of Veghel. The young, 1.99-metre long player, however, was known for some time by his record as a classic player.

Jean Paul de Bruijn was the last on Saturday night to slip into the top four. For the Hulst native, this is his third final day in three years, twice he was in the final himself. Two years ago he won himself, last year Dick Jaspers won. In his battle with Barry van Beers on Saturday evening, things did not go as expected for De Bruin. His opponent in that match shone with a couple of strong performances, but now completely lost his way against De Bruijn after starting with a nice six. Jean Paul de Bruijn then went on to build a solid lead without any big runs, although he admitted later that the match was not too high quality. Barry van Beers ran out of time with some 16 zeros in 20 innings, still had a reasonable finish, but did not come close to De Bruijn again: 40-29 in 29. 

Jean van Erp triumphed in the Brabant clash against Jaspers 40-38 on Saturday. That was the biggest sensation of the day. The match was briefly interrupted and disrupted by a butterfly fluttering around and landing at the billiard table. Jean van Erp later said: ’’It was so annoying that I wanted to stop the match, but Dick played on.'' It took 10 minutes before the butterfly to be caught. The match could go on to a stunning climax. Jean van Erp went to 38 first, Dick Jaspers came back to 38-38, but missed a round-the-table shot to score with counter effect. Jean van Erp took advantage, finished the match with two and was cheered passionately by the Brabant fans.

The winner of the Brabant clash was still so deep in his focus that he could hardly comment after the match in the interview with Kozoom. ’’I came very often up against a much better Jaspers in my career,'' he still brought out. ’’Then it’s nice of course that I was able to do this in front of my own audience.'' Dick Jaspers, who was very close in the end, also looked a bit gloomy and was quite willing to comment on the second last ball that he had not estimated correctly. 

Glenn Hofman in the Hague derby with Jeffrey Jorissen took the initiative from the start. Without high scores, Glenn ran to 17-2 and despite a slightly lesser part, Jeffrey could not find the mental strength for a come-back. Hofman scored two more 4’s and 5’s en the way to the finish, Jorissen finished with three and six for 40-30 in 26/24. That was not what Jorissen had imagined from the Hague championship in disguise. Jorissen, who has moved to Beuningen with Kim Bongers and their children, has big ambitions with a training room of his own, but could not live up to his expectations at this Masters. The flawless feel that Jorissen can so often 'conjure up' was lacking. It will be for another time at the Masters. The stoic Glenn Hofman, on the other hand, seems to be growing in the event and admitted after the match that the last World Cup in Egypt, where he was at the podium, had given him such a pleasant boost.