Welcome to 2021
I hope everyone has had a nice long break, back at work or should I say working from home, as this is the new norm!
Covid has changed the way we do things and so to on the snooker scene, the UK Masters was played to an empty auditorium, no spectators, just a TV crew, players, the referee and marker. The event invited the top 16 players from the snooker world rankings to compete in a knockout tournament.
Chinese 20-year-old Yan Bingtao came from 7-5 down to score a sensational Betfred Masters victory, beating John Higgins 10-8 in the final. Debutant Yan becomes the youngest winner of the Masters since Ronnie O’Sullivan claimed the title at the age of 19 in 1995. He is only the second Asian player, after compatriot Ding Junhui, to lift Triple Crown silverware
In lifting the Paul Hunter Trophy and claiming the £250,000 top prize, Yan has secured the biggest payday of his career so far. Higgins will have to settle for the £100,000 runner-up prize, he also pockets £15,000 for the high break of 145, which he made in his quarter-final win over Ronnie O’Sullivan.
RONNIE O’SULLIVAN sees a bit of Tiger Woods in new Chinese superstar Yan Bingtao, backing him to become a future Crucible champion. Exciting Bingtao, 20, is the youngest Masters winner since the Rocket 26 years ago after shocking John Higgins 10-8 in Milton Keynes.
7 Times Masters Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan has backed the youngster to be snooker’s Tiger Woods. Ding Junhui, 33, has long been the standard-bearer for those playing the sport in the Far East though he has fallen short at world level. But Bingtao’s Triple Crown breakthrough has put him front of the pack of the new wave of Asian baize stars.
Impressed O’Sullivan, 45, said: “I would be really surprised if he did not win at least one or two world titles. “All great players are good to watch even when they are 15 – that was the case with John Higgins and Mark Williams.
“And it’s the case with Yan. They already play like top pros.
“This could be quite a significant result for Chinese snooker.”
As January 2021 comes to a close, we are hopeful that we will be able to play League and tournaments this year. With the club having a new addition i.e. a Wiraka M1 professional table, the players are eagerly awaiting the installation of lights so that they can try out the new table. More info will be passed along to members as it becomes available regarding League, Tournaments etc.
Stay Safe and observe all Covid Protocols