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|Competitor for United States|
|Men's Three-cushion billiards|
Sang Chun Lee (Korean: 이상천; January 15, 1954 – October 19, 2004), most commonly known simply as Sang Lee, was a Korean American professional three-cushion billiards player and world champion. Born and raised in South Korea[clarification needed], Lee moved to New York City, USA, in 1987 at age 33.
Dubbed the "Michael Jordan of three-cushion billiards" at the time of his arrival in the United States, Lee already had eight Korean national titles under his belt. Lee promptly went on to dominate three cushion billiards in the US, winning twelve consecutive United States Billiard Association National Three-cushion Championships, from 1990 to 2001. At the 2002 Championships, his impressive run came to an end when he was defeated by Pedro Piedrabuena in the finals of the tournament. Aptly, Piedrabuena received his early training in billiards from none other than Lee.
Also in 2002, Lee finished 2nd in Three-cushion event of the Asian Games where he was bested by Deuk-Hee Hwang, another Korean cue artist.
Lee also won the coveted 1993 BWA World Three-cushion Championship held in Ghent, Belgium - becoming the first American to win a world title in the sport in forty years. He almost won it again in 1999 but fell short to Dick Jaspers.
In a club match with handicap (Sang Lee often played to 70 or 80 points, where his opponents only needed to make 25 or 30), he once made consecutive runs of 19,11,9 and 11. As this was not an official, refereed match to 50, the achievement was never recognized as a world record.
As a player, Lee's ambition was "making billiards beautiful in America", – restoring the recognition and competitive level of three-cushion in that part of the world – but he did not live to fulfill it, as he died in 2004 due to stomach cancer.
Sang Lee International Open
Each year after Lee's death, a tournament featuring many of the world's best three-cushion players, known as the Sang Lee International Open, has been hosted at Carom Cafe in Flushing, Queens, New York, the billiard hall Lee was a co-owner of at the time of his death.
- "Ideas & Trends; They're Sort of Like Mike", by Caitlin Lovinger, New York Times (online edition), January 17, 1999. Accessed December 30, 2006.
- Carom Tournament Press
- "BCA Hall of Fame 2007 — 51st Inductee: Sang Chun Lee", Billiard Congress of America, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA; accessed 2 March 2007
- "Billiards' Best Spin Doctors Vie in a Three-Cushion Zone" by Corey Kilgannon, New York Times (online edition), August 18, 2006. Accessed December 30, 2006.
|BWA World Three-cushion Champion
|USBA National Three-cushion Champion