Sang Lee

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Sang Lee
Sang Lee.jpg
Sang Chun Lee
Medal record
Men's three-cushion billiards
Representing the  United States
World Cup Champion
Gold medal – first place 1993 Individual
World Games
Bronze medal – third place 2001 Akita Individual
Asian Games
Silver medal – second place 2002 Busan Individual

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, United States, in 1987 at age 33.

Professional career[edit]

Dubbed the "Michael Jordan of three-cushion billiards"[1] 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.

Lee also became Three-Cushion World Cup-Champion in 1993. He almost became it again in 1999 but fell short to Dick Jaspers.

At the 2002 US-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.

As a player, Lee's ambition was "making billiards beautiful in America",[2] – 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.

On 15 May 2007, Lee was inducted into the BCA Hall of Fame.[3]

Sang Lee International Open[edit]

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 Café in Flushing, Queens, New York, the billiard hall Lee was a co-owner of at the time of his death.[4] 2012 it has been renamed to Verhoeven Open.


  1. ^ "Ideas & Trends; They're Sort of Like Mike", by Caitlin Lovinger, New York Times (online edition), January 17, 1999. Accessed December 30, 2006.
  2. ^ Carom Tournament Press[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "BCA Hall of Fame 2007 — 51st Inductee: Sang Chun Lee" Archived 2007-02-02 at the Wayback Machine., Billiard Congress of America, Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States; accessed 2 March 2007
  4. ^ "Billiards' Best Spin Doctors Vie in a Three-Cushion Zone" Archived 2012-06-09 at the Wayback Machine. by Corey Kilgannon, New York Times (online edition), August 18, 2006. Accessed December 30, 2006.

External links[edit]

Media related to Sang Chun Lee at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by
Carlos Hallon
USBA National Three-cushion Champion
Succeeded by
Pedro Piedrabuena