Lisowski takes hard fought victory

Congratulations to young Jack Lisowski from Cheltenham on an excellent victory in the final of the first event of the 2009/10 PIOS today…

Liam Highfield 5-6 Jack Lisowski

68(33)-44, 22-60(31), 0-79(79), 64-55(31), 28-70(70), 25-64(36), 57(32)-33, 69-7, 33-74(38), 48-46, 13-59

As is evident from the 6-5 scoreline above, this clash of the two 18-year-olds was a real battle, but despite the best efforts of Liam Highfield it was Lisowski who came through to take his first victory at this level.

In many ways it is a remarkable victory for the 2009/10 Paul Hunter Scholar because having reportedly gone through 16 bouts of chemotherapy treatment for the Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer that he was diagnosed with last year, his career progression has been far from normal.

Having reached a PIOS final last season however he showed that he is nevertheless a fine talent and now with this superb victory over Highfield, he is already well-placed to move onto the main tour as one of the top eight players in the rankings at the end of the season. A word of caution must be sounded however as players have won events before and not finished in the top eight, for example Shokat Ali last season who despite winning Event Three, finished the season ranked 13th.

Many are of the opinion that Jack should have been awarded one of the four wildcard spots open to World Snooker for the main tour next season but personally, even with this victory, I believe that it will be better for him in the long-term to complete his education in the PIOS and get a full season under his belt. Had he been thrust onto the professional stage now he could have theoretically ended up with just six ranking event matches next season (and no prize money), had he lost them all, while on the PIOS at least he is likely to get more match practice in what is a still a very high quality tour.

Hopefully another season on the amateur circuit will leave him better prepared for the step up to the professional ranks and that this will be the first of many successes for a player who is not only talented, but apparently as eloquent as anyone on the tour already!

Looking ahead to the second event of the series you can find the draw here over at Global Snooker. Just look who are set to meet in the first round, Lisowski and Highfield once again, provided that Jack can come through his preliminary round match!