Earlier this week on Tuesday night, I was down 2-3 in an race to five match with a very good APA skill level 7 player. In the sixth game, my opponent broke and we exchanged a few safeties, both of us attempting to get control of the table. Finally, my opponent made a mistake and left me with a makeable shot. I quickly surveyed the layout of my balls and realized that I could pretty easily run the table and tie the match at 3-3. Yes, this was going to be a pretty simple exercise in connecting the dots and winning the game. The first shot was a standard stop shot straight into the corner pocket with the cue ball and object ball separated by about a foot. I got into my stance. I took my time, checked my fundamentals, stroked 3 times, paused, then pulled the trigger and hit the shot with a tiny bit more than pocket speed. I hit a perfect stop shot. With the object ball safely halfway to its intended pocket, I started to get up out of my stance to prepare for the next shot. Then, something unbelievable happened that I’d never seen before. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed that the object ball was slowly moving off the line that I had sent it down. WHAT??!!! I caught this in my peripheral vision. My head and eyes immediately snapped back to the object ball. It was still about two feet away from the pocket, but now, not only was it off the original aiming line, but it was still in the process of curving more and more off the line! I stared in disbelief as the ball actually TURNED and headed directly into the long rail! The object ball, rolling at a tad bit more than pocket speed, had actually turned by about 30 degrees from its original path! I was so shocked that I couldn’t even get upset. There were several gasps of disbelief from some of the folks watching the match. My opponent was also astonished by the action of the ball and gave his condolences for the strange development. With the table wide open, he easily ran out. Suddenly, instead of being tied at 3-3 with me breaking I was down 2-4 with him breaking: a huge disadvantage.
Question: Does anyone want to venture a guess and try to explain what caused me to miss this shot?
Hint #1: No, the table was not unlevel.
Hint # 2: I had read somewhere about this happening before, but in over 20 years of play, I had never seen it myself.