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Break-out performance

Former Orange Coast College golfer Noteboom earns spot at U.S. Amateur tournament in Florida.

October 12, 2009|By Matt Szabo

It all started seven years ago for Brock Noteboom after he won some money in Las Vegas.

Noteboom and some buddies went in on a pool table with the winnings. Just a hobby to pass the time — at first.

“After six months, we wanted to see how good we really were,” said Noteboom, 28. “We went down to a local tournament and I got third. Ever since then, I’ve loved playing tournaments. I caught the bug, started playing in leagues.”

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He plays in leagues run by the American Poolplayers Assn., Sunday nights at the Q Club in Costa Mesa. On Thursday nights he’s at the Blue Dolphin in Dana Point.

Next month, Noteboom will be on a much bigger stage at the 2009 United States Amateur Championships, beginning Nov. 6 in Tampa, Fla.

He was one of 53 men vying to make it out of the qualifier Sept. 19 at Styx Billiards in Rancho Cucamonga.

In the finals, he beat the 2003 U.S. amateur champion, Bruce Choyce. It was eight games of eight-ball followed by 13 games of nine-ball. The winner was the first to win 11 games — known in pool as a “race to 11.”

“After eight-ball, it was 5-3, his lead,” said Noteboom, a Huntington Beach resident. “Then we went to nine-ball, and I won seven in a row, so I was up, 10-5. He started playing really well and came back. I won in the last game. It was really satisfying. My goal was just to keep up with him and not get blown out. I just took it one game at a time and all of a sudden I was on the hill and I just needed one more.

“It was really cool to beat a former champion. He told me, ‘You’ll do very well out there.’ That was a nice thing to hear from a guy of his caliber.”

Getting there may be the challenge.

This is the part where Noteboom himself is a bit behind the eight ball.

It’s an amateur tournament, which means there’s no big cash prize to speak of.

Noteboom has to pay his own way there. His room is taken care of, but he still needs to foot the bill for necessities like a rental car and food.

Noteboom, who works in insurance, has two daughters, Kaylah, 2, and Kylee, 7 months. Money is tight for him and his wife, Jessica, due to some recent emergency medical bills.

Brock Noteboom and another Orange County pool player, Liza Gazmen of Lake Forest, have been looking into organizing a fundraiser to help with the costs.

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