Sky is the limit for Danish billiards player

Andreas Madsen taking a shot in a doubles match with partner Carlos Quiroz against One More Shot.
Photo by Walker Van Wey

WALKER VAN WEY| Reporter

When the Lindenwood billiards team lost superstar Sharik Sayed in the spring, there appeared to be a gaping hole in the program until Danish phenom Andreas Madsen arrived.

Although head coach Mark Wilson ran across Madsen in the past, his enrollment at Lindenwood brought as much surprise as it did happiness.

“Two years ago he played in the ACC, and he was one of the top four boys in Europe,” Wilson said. “I broadcasted some of his matches, and I suppose he must have just heard about us somewhere because I can’t really recruit in Europe.”

When Wilson found out Madsen would be attending Lindenwood to play billiards, he was pleasantly surprised. When Wilson got to watch Madsen, he was no longer surprised — he was ecstatic.

“I knew he was good,” Wilson said. “Once I saw him play firsthand like this, he was even better. Shockingly better.”

Madsen staring at his options in a match against SIUE. Madsen went 2-0 on the day.
Photo by Walker Van Wey

Not only was Madsen a top four billiards player in Europe at the time, but he is also the winner of the European Junior championships in 2012, Men’s Danish championship three times and Junior nationals 15 times.

The two main ingredients to this formula of success are his work ethic and his attitude.

Madsen practices nearly every day, homework or not. And when he’s at practice, he’s there to practice.

He always puts in the maximum amount of effort into each shot, and his consistency is unreal,” said freshman teammate Taylor Hansen.

While you may see Madsen joking and laughing outside of the billiards arena, he’s a whole different animal when he walks through the doors, taking each shot in practice as seriously as he would take them in tournaments.

“The attitude I have at practice is the same as when I compete,” he said. “Otherwise why even be there?” 

“Man, woman or beast, it doesn’t matter; he’s here to kill.”

Coach Mark Wilson

Madsen’s no-nonsense demeanor is so effective it can come off as cold and intimidating, but he said he wouldn’t change a thing about it.

“When I’m at the table, that’s what I want people to think,” he said.

Wilson thoroughly enjoys a player as serious as Madsen with no off switch to his competitive edge.

“Man, woman or beast, it doesn’t matter; he’s here to kill,” Wilson said.

Aside from the hodgepodge of various competitions of different levels at the University of Michigan Team Pool Championships, Madsen has a collegiate record of 18.5-3.5.

While the record would indicate he does look to “kill,”  Madsen doesn’t hang his head on the losses he’s received.

With my game and the way I play, I can dominate pretty much anyone,” Madsen said. “But losing isn’t always a bad thing though. You have to lose to get better. Especially in pool where there’s so much luck.”

Although Madsen hasn’t had many opportunities to learn from losses this semester, he is content with riding the current wave he’s on.

“I wouldn’t say I’m not learning enough,” Madsen said. “I’m not going to make winning into a problem.”

After the impressive first semester, Wilson is confident that despite the small sample size, Madsen’s early success is no fluke.

“Andreas is a chronic overachiever,” Wilson said. “He’s just going to continue to flourish.”

Wilson also expresses the possibility of collegiate greatness matched only by teammate Brianna Miller.

“Brianna’s the first player to win four national championships,” Wilson said. “He could do that on the men’s side.”

With a high number of trophies on the mantel already, the possibility of winning four national championships will drive Madsen as he moves forward with his billiards career.

Video by Sami Glenn and Carly Fristoe

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